NOVEMBER 8, 2016

Many thanks to Brady Raanes for providing our program last week. 
President Jaclyn Adams presided over the meeting. Thanks to Mike Ratliff who gave the invocation and to Ben Donald who led us in the Pledge of Allegiance. Lucy Parkman and Kory Moore served as our greeters today.
Tracie Fowler introduced today’s guests. Ben Donald has as his guests Ron Weatherly and Dennis Liverett. There are no visiting Rotarians.
Jaclyn reminded everyone that the next Club Assembly will be held on November 22. District Assistant Governor Rob Young will be in attendance. She also noted that our last club meeting of the year will occur on December 13. We will begin the 2017 calendar year with our January 3 meeting.
Christian Services is looking for turkey carvers to help with their Thanksgiving program. Volunteer carvers and serves are needed on Monday, November 21. Volunteers are also needed to support the organization’s Birthday for Jesus party that will be held on December 17. Rotarians are encouraged to bring toys each week until the day of the event. Toys are needed for children age zero to 12.
Additionally, teddy bears are needed for the Kids Hub center. Each child who goes through their program leaves with a teddy bear. They’re running low. 
Ryan Kelly then introduced today’s guest speaker, Brady Raanes. Brady is a Certified Financial Planner™ and lives and works in the Hattiesburg area. Brady gave us a “big picture” look at the global economy and many of the factors having an impact on it. Most of the developed countries are seeing a continuing decline in the 15 to 64 year old demographic. People in this age bracket are those who are the workers, the wage earners and those that can grow an economy. Because this population continues to decrease in developed countries, those countries are trying to find ways to grow their economy. In some instances they are charging bank depositors in an effort to discourage them from saving money, encouraging them to spend money instead.
Because of these monetary policy shifts, some counties now have negative interest rates. Investors who are buying long term bonds are guaranteed to lose some of their investment. Meanwhile, government banks are buying stocks with new money they are creating.
Rather than having the desired result of less savings and more spending, the population continues to increase their savings. In addition to the decline in the work-force age population, the younger generation (zero to 14 years of age) is also declining in the developed countries, while at the same time the over 65 bracket continues to increase.
Brady says an expanding economy is necessary because most developed country governments have fixed or growing economic needs. Without a growing economy the governments are no longer able to pay their bills and therefore have to borrow money.
The good news is, according to Brady, there are thousands of places where you can invest your money in an effort to earn what you can in a changing economic environment. He says it is his opinion that U.S. stocks are overpriced and therefore not a good investment. Emerging markets are attractive to him because most of these economies have a solid working class population and most are poised to have a growing economy. Specifically, Brady says he believes energy will do will in the coming years and that health care investments and fixed income high yield municipal tax free bonds will also be safe investments for the next five years.
He says markets don’t really care whether a democrat or a republican sits in the White House. The economy performs about equally regardless of which party hold the House. Tax policies and interest rates are the factors that will have a major impact on the market. Investors are urged to monitor both of these entities. Brady says if you are a 70% stock market investor he might suggest you scale that back to about 50 to 60% of your portfolio and temper your expectations.
Challenged to pick three investment areas for the next 12 months and then come back and report on his recommendations, Brady chose pipeline stocks, tax free municipal bonds and medical real estate. We hope to see him in a year and find out how his predictions worked out.