On August 15th and 16th I attended The MoneyShow in beautiful San Francisco, California. This will be the first in a series of columns associated with this event.
The chair and CEO for The MoneyShow is Kim Githler of Sarasota, FL. Kim started the company in 1982 with money raised from the sale of her car. Unknown to me, The MoneyShow produces over 12 shows annually across the globe. During the shows, individual investors can interface with market gurus, financial services companies and financial media partners. It is a trade show so there are definitely exhibitors pitching their products. Registration for the show is free though there are premium events for a fee. The great majority of the content is free of charge.
The San Francisco show is actually the smallest of all the domestic events according to Aaron West, Senior Vice President of Marketing for The MoneyShow. The attendees were decidedly in the age range of being closer to retirement or retired.
In Ms. Githler's opening remarks she emphasized that "knowledge is power". Knowledge was certainly in abundance during the conference. She proceeded to highlight a golden era of investing from 1982-2000 where stocks experienced a 1,000% gain. Since that time, given the bear markets of 2000-2002 and 2007-2009, financial advisers have shifted away from the traditional stock and bond portfolio where now 70% of their ranks use alternative investments. I appreciated her "Rule #1" which was to insist on capital preservation. Those readers of my column and book can attest how sympathetic I am to that rule during these challenging investment times. In conclusion, she cautioned attendees to conduct due diligence with exhibitors and to discuss investment changes with their families - another good message.
Next up in the opening remarks was Charles Githler. Charles was rather ebullient about the times. He suggested it was never a better time for a conference with stock markets doing well and deflationary risks mitigated by Fed action. The recent interest rate spikes were not of concern to him since, in his interpretation, it meant the economy was avoiding deflation. He views the stock market on the cusp of another golden age similar to 1982-2000. He supports this idea based on analyses by Kelley Wright of Investment Quality Trends who suggests stocks may be undervalued by as much as 18%. Another citation was from Dick Bove of Rafferty Capital who suggested that large banks are actually overcapitalized and trading near book value. According to Bove, investors should "make 100% with your eyes closed". Other citations made by Charles referenced Nouriel Rubini who went from an ultra bear to a neo-bull and Ed Yardeni who claims there is a 60% chance that the current stock market is experiencing rational exuberance. Charles continued his Goldilocks vision by highlighting how much money was sitting on the sidelines ready to be invested. Mr. Githler also forecasts gold mines outperforming, U.S. energy independence by 2020, North American food exports to former enemies, and a Fed exit from market support.
My other columns for the conference will be based on individual sessions I attended.