Asset manager says ‘keep your eyes on the prize’

Stacy Wescoe//September 12, 2023

Tom Reardon

Asset manager says ‘keep your eyes on the prize’

Stacy Wescoe//September 12, 2023

With ongoing concerns of a looming recession, rising interest rates and geopolitical challenges, such as the war in the Ukraine, concerns over how to invest one’s money are understandable.

But Tom Reardon, a partner in the Private Wealth Division at RKL in Berks County, said that whether he’s talking to a family, individual or business investor, his advice is the same.

“We really try to coach our clients to take a long-term view,” he said.

That means that while investors should be aware of factors that can impact their assets, they should look forward to their end goals rather than concentrate on ever changing market conditions.

“Trying to time the market is pretty difficult,” Reardon said. “That’s why asset managers continue to make sure clients have broad exposure across the market.”

That doesn’t mean he doesn’t take into account what’s going on in the world. Because of the war in Ukraine and other problems globally, he said he is currently crafting portfolios that are underweight in the international market, which he said is more vulnerable to the impact of such instability.

He said that even with a possible economic slowdown in the U.S., the country is insulated enough that it can weather any storm and so he feels domestic investments are a much better choice right now.

One bright spot for investors is that they don’t need to be so heavily invested in the stock market right now.

Instead, interest rates, which are at their highest in years, make investments like CDs and money market funds viable options for growing wealth.

“We haven’t seen short term rates like this since the early 2000s,” he said, noting that most banking institutions are offering rates in the 4% to 5% range on many investment products. “That’s good for those who have trouble stomaching the ups and downs of the stock market.”

As for business, he said the options for asset management vary as much as the industries that his firm serves.

Some businesses are seeing this as a time to reinvest in the business and either acquire or expand into new territories.

But for some, he said it’s time to tighten the belt. Businesses that are being negatively impacted by the current economic conditions, or worried about future economic conditions, may be looking to tighten their belts and horde assets so they have extra funds to weather any economic storm that could be on the horizon.

“We’re really seeing a mix of aggressive growth and more of a defense posture with different businesses,” Reardon said. “The plan is going to be very different for each individual and each business.”