Watch Andy Sieg discuss markets and long-term planning on CNBC
August 24, 2022
Joe Kernan (CNBC) - Are your guys a lot more trained? I mean, a Series 7 was okay...but I bet you have to know a lot more now, don't you, in terms of—you must have a lot of, I don't know, CFAs or CFPs to compete nowadays. Are your guys a lot more, would you think, ready to handle across-the-board asset allocation, etc...
Andy Sieg (Merrill) - Well, yeah. I think certainly around asset allocation. But as you just went to much more broadly, we're #1 and #2 in the market in terms of having certified financial planners you know, in our business. Individual financial advisors still exist, but they're the exception.
The rule today is to serve clients as a team. Generally, in terms of training, it's much broader than just investments. It's much broader even than just financial planning. It's, "How do we ensure we're in position to deliver everything Bank of America can do for clients?" We want to be your banker. We want to be your lender. We want to bring trust and estate solutions. We want to, you know, be there for you—if you're a business owner or an executive and you can utilize the services of our investment bank or our commercial bank.
So, that has caused a much broader array of professional development. And then with core investments, we also lean much more heavily today on our Chief Investment Office and on our research department. So, we're trying to take the dispersion of client portfolios down and make sure every client has access to world-class, institutional-level investment advice.
Joe - Hey, Andy, very quickly—if you're looking at JPMorgan, their top strategist, right now, is bullish. If you look at Morgan Stanley, their top strategist is bearish. Where do you all come down? Where's Merrill? Where's Bank of America?
Andy - Well, I mean—we are unabashedly bullish. Joe talked about not seeing the bull as much. Believe me, the bull is out there. Brian Moynihan, myself, the rest of the leadership team—we're very proud of the modern Merrill strategy, and it's unfashionable today to be a bull.
I think a lot of the difference in opinions really comes down to, "Which client base are we talking about?" and "What time horizon are we talking about?" I mean, you tend to hear more tactical messages for institutional clients—some short-term bearishness. But when we think medium and long-term, there is no place in the world like the U.S. markets, the U.S. economy, and we see what our clients are doing and the businesses they're building. You can't help but be bullish when you're with them all day.
Joe - Is that 1 to 5 years—that time frame, medium to long-term?
Andy - Oh, I mean, as I was saying—you think about '23, '24, '25—you are going to miss a world of opportunity if you're not bullish on the equity market, particularly in the U.S.
Joe - Andy, thank you. Andy Sieg, we really appreciate your time today.
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