AP Thought Leader Summit Session Summaries

On August 24 and 25, we held our second annual Thought Leader Summit. Here is a short summary of each session and a link to watch the replay for CE credits.

Jeffrey Gundlach on What’s in Store for the Markets and the Economy

Presenter: Jeffrey Gundlach
Moderator: Robert Huebscher

There is at least a 50/50 chance that headline CPI inflation will be greater than 5% for the full year 2021, according to Jeffrey Gundlach, the founder and CEO of DoubleLine Capital. During this session, in which Jeffrey answered audience questions about the economy and the markets, he offered a number of other predictions. He said that bonds and stocks are historically overvalued, and low interest rates are supporting S&P 500 valuations. Investors should look to diversify internationally to emerging markets and specifically to India. On the political front, he said that the Democrats will lose the House and possibly the Senate in 2022, and neither Biden nor Trump will run for president in 2024.

Taxing Times: Debt, Tax Reform, and Strategies for Uncertainty

Presenter: Ryan C. Bertrand
Moderator: Suzanne Siracuse

Things change so fast in Washington around tax reform and fiscal policy that anything mentioned today may have already changed. There have been vast increases in debt and it’s only growing. With so much discussion in the media around taxes, historic spending packages, and reform, clients may have anxiety over the future. This presentation overviews the primary drivers behind the national debt and how it connects with clients’ retirement planning. From Social Security to Medicare, planning and sound advice from a financial advisor can help ensure clients get the most from their tax dollars. We also discuss tax-related items and proposals made by the current presidential administration.

Sweeping changes are currently being debated that could significantly impact high income clients earning more than $400,000. These changes include unprecedented changes to capital gains for those making over $1 million each year. Also impacting capital gains assets is the proposed change to the step-up in cost basis rule.

The administration has also proposed changes to estate and gift taxes, reducing the current applicable exclusion from $11.7 million ($23.4 million per couple) to $7 million.

In the coming months, there will certainly be debate on potential reform, but there is no reason that client discussions and planning on this topic should not start today. This presentation closes with strategies that advisors can employ to combat the uncertain environment.

It is difficult to forecast the changes to corporate taxes. The president's proposals call for an increase of the rate on corporate earnings to 28% from 21%.

Towards the end of the year, debates on these proposals will come and then there will be a crunch time in November or December for any reforms to take place.