PP Tom Barron greeted us warmly and was quick to advise,
also warmly, to stay awake when the Financial Advisors present their
material. Bill Roen was called upon to lead us in the Flag Pledge. Still
awake, I noticed that he omitted one word—“indivisible.” Which begs
the questions: was it an intentional statement; a Freudian slip; or just
a senior moment? In any case, he finished strongly, bestowing our
usual “Liberty and Justice for all” and all ended well enough.
PP Mark Rogo, still a Whippersnapper, brought us our Thought
For the Day with a very positive state of mind, indeed. He challenged us
all to be Rotarians and optimistic every day, which is serious work. To
lighten the task he concluded: Stay Positive and Test Negative, which I
then adopted as my personal motto. Mark also introduced a special guest,
Nancy Collins (hope I got that right) who opined that Rotary in Person must
beat Zooming. She intends to find out early in March.
It wouldn’t be Thursday if we didn’t hear from our Songmeister,
PP Admiral Edwin Gauld. Hearing about the Ukraine situation, he gave
us an appropriately rousing version of “The Caissons go Rolling Along,”
An Army vet, I was roused and sad at the same time.
PP Tom then announced we are scheduled to meet at the Luskin
Center on March 3 and March 17. No, pants are not optional, you crazed
shut-ins! The buffet runs $51 and you must OPT-IN or OPT-OUT with PP
Tom Barron by 10:00 AM of the preceding Monday. Once you OPT-IN, you
will be fed and charged (unless you warn him by 10:00AM you will NOT
attend). If you OPT-OUT, you may not get enough to eat unless you OPT-IN
by the same 10:00 AM for that one meeting. Sounds reasonable to me.
PP Tom then informed us about our own Roosbeh Farahanipour, who
can be seen on Youtube describing his feelings about Westwood, where he
has lived, run businesses, and now raises a family after immigrating
(escaping) here from Iran 20 years ago. Roosbeh has a very articulate
and genuine interview on Youtube which describes his reasons for organizing
an effort to change our city’s charter. After living here for 40 years (twice
as long as he has), he made me ashamed that I’ve done so little to improve
city government and services. Few will argue that both haven’t
deteriorated greatly since 2002. If you disagree, please visit him at Rob
and Mary’s Restaurant or Delphi, a few steps away, as many of us have.
The club’s Navy veterans were then roused by the announcement by
PP Mark Rogo that a Tall Ship Cruise with lunch has been organized from
San Pedro on March 31. Details will follow.
A (busy) Rotaract representative, Simran Sangha, greeted us Zoomers
and informed us about UCLA Rotaract activities. My pen couldn’t keep up
with her “To Do List” describing cleanup at the LA River, discussions with
a Rotaract Club in India, feeding the homeless in Compton on Saturday,
and repairing schools and churches on the next weekend. Shamed again!
PP Diane Good (my Rotarian of the Decade) announced that PP Tom
Barron has earned the Rotarian of the Month recognition for his efforts-
I’m sure it’s not the first time, Tom! Tom responded with a treat-
a collection of “Famous Insults from the Past” from O W Holmes,
Churchill, etc. “Wouldn’t kill (him) but I’d read his obituary with pleasure.”
“Just learned about (his) illness—let’s hope it’s not trivial.”
Phil Gabriel, who knows all the best Westwood bargains, informed us that
some charity is administering free Covid Tests on Broxton Ave near the
public parking structure from 10:00AM to 2:00PM on some days. Call Phil
PP Tom then called for PP Steve Scherer to begin today’s program—
The Wildly Popular Financial Advisor’s Day. PP Steve reminded us that this
Is WVRC’s 32nd Advisor Day and at our First, the Prime Rate was 10% (3.25%
now) and, I’ll add, the S & P 500 was 393-now 4431. Since then, many
fortunes have been made and lost, but over time, the direction is UP!
In 2021, we saw massive fiscal stimulus, historically low interest rates,
and inflation at 7% for the first time in decades. Questions are abundant—
March may bring the first Fed rate hike since 2018 (is that good?)—new
spending bills may pass (?)—the Great Resignation (?)—where are
mortgages and inflation headed (?).
Used to dealing with investor questions, PP Steve answered none of
these questions, and polled our Zoom membership. The members able to
raise their hands in response provided this general consensus:
“ The 3 popular averages will rise about 10% in ’22. The 1-year Treasury
will end at 0.89%, the 10-yr Treasury at 2.3%”—so saith the hoi polloi!"
Then, PP Steve allowed 5 club Financial Advisors to express their
own views in detail, his own prediction coming last.
The Advisors presenting were James Crane, president Nancy
McCready, Dwight Heikkila, John O’Keefe, and Steve Scherer. Normally,
I would present their exact numbers, but their agreement was so close
I suspected a conspiracy (but my own numbers were no different).
Consensus Dow 30---38740---biggest deviation 1500 pts=4% +6.5%
Consensus S & P 500---5100---biggest deviation 130 pts=2% +6.5%
Consensus Nasdaq---16425---biggest deviation 1600 pts=10% +4.1%
Consensus 1-yr Treasury---1.34%---biggest deviation .06=4% + .95%
Consensus 10-yr Treasury---2.34%---biggest deviation .09=4% + .82%
(remember that these gains are for the calendar year and to attain these
levels, the indices will need to gain +13%, +17%, and +21 respectively
from their levels on Advisor Day, January 27, 2022)
Finally, the Advisors were asked to recommend 1 “post-pandemic
Stock”, which begs the question-when will that time come?
James Crane: United Health Group Inc. UNH
Nancy McCready: Docusign Inc. DOCU
Dwight Heikkila: Nvidia Corp NVDA
John O’Keefe: Southern Copper, Inc. SCCO
Steve Scherer: Qualcomm, Inc. QCOM
Looks like everything is UP from here!
YOPP, Dwight Heikkila