What do a world leader, top investment strategists, award winning authors, philanthropists, techno geeks and the sports world have in common? The Schwab Impact ® 2017 Conference. Craig and I just returned from the four day conference that was packed full of excellent speakers and educational sessions.
In this write up, let me simply highlight for you the wonderful keynote speakers — they did not disappoint. We began with “Politics, the Markets and Your Clients”. This panel discussion included Chief Global Strategist Jeffrey Kleintop; Schwab Chief Investment Strategist for Charles Schwab, Liz Ann Sanders; and Greg Valliere, Chief Political Strategist for Horizon Investments. A couple of key points from all:
- First, the overall US equity market still has a strong tail wind; they foresee the market continuing to perform well at least until the latter half of next year.
- Nonetheless, all 45 key economies outside the US exhibit better fundamentals for the near-term performance.
“Everything that is possible today was impossible yesterday and everything that seems impossible today is possible”. That was my favorite quote by Mick Ebeling, Founder and CEO of Not Impossible Labs. He decided to help one young man in war torn Sudan who, like hundreds of others there, had lost limbs. In what became known as Project Daniel, Ebeling and his team created the machinery and technology to produce prostheses on site for less than $100 each. Click on this link to learn more about this incredible story. Since then this company has developed other low cost equipment to help those with cerebral palsy, and most recently Parkinson’s disease. Every day he seeks the absurd and then finds a way to do it.
When you looked at an empty bedroom would you have envisioned renting it out like Airbnb? Or when you looked at an empty car could you have envisioned Uber? Joshua Cooper Ramo, Vice Chairman and CEO of Kissinger Assocs., calls that “The Seventh Sense”, which was the title of his most recent book. He states that “great ideas are translated into great companies when you reimagine how an industry will fundamentally be reshaped as a result of constant connectivity – which we now have through our vast computer systems and which will only intensify in the near future.” That takes a “Seventh Sense” that anyone can develop.
As if the quality of these speakers wasn’t enough, along came David Cameron, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and perhaps the most interesting presenter of all given his world insights. I found him to be a very engaging speaker with many words of wisdom and insight. Asked if he was sorry that he resigned from his position, his comment was a simple NO. He said that he fought so hard against the Brexit vote that he did not feel he could effectively lead the country down a path with which he disagrees. He does, however, feel that the transition will go smoothly and holds out great hope for his country and ours…because both our countries need to be leaders in the world.
Last, but not least sports fans were impressed by our final speaker – Theo Epstein, President of Operations for the Chicago Cubs team that won its first World Series in over 100 years. My husband was greatly impressed anyway! Epstein spoke on fostering character and connecting with people. A smart and very humble guy.
In between the keynote speakers we had 126 education sessions from which to choose. In later blogs we will share some of the things learned (a little hint – what is an inverted bond yield curve and why is it important.) For now this is quite long enough!