Addressing Investment Concerns with the Upcoming Election: An Interview with Colleen Kelleher Sorrentino

When looking at their portfolio, today’s investor also takes into account the impact of outside forces. None may be more significant than the upcoming presidential election. Or is it? We’re speaking with Colleen Kelleher Sorrentino, Head of Wealth Management at Wall Street Access Asset Management, and gaining her input on what the significance will be of November’s results.

Colleen, what do you feel is the climate today in investing?

Right now, people really feel they’re working harder and not getting more. They’re very concerned about their long-term goals – will I have enough to send my kids to college? What about my own retirement? Where should I look to invest in the long term?

And what is your perspective on this?

What really drives stock prices are earnings and interest rates. Any other outside occurrence is a blip. Look at what happened with Brexit. The first couple of days the markets went crazy but then after a few days, it righted itself. There are these short-term bounces and we look for the long term.

How do you optimize your clients’ portfolios when it comes to the current situation of not knowing – and what will the difference be if one candidate gets in over another?

Today’s investor is fairly savvy as they have a host of resources for them to use when making any investment decision. Markets do not like uncertainty but right now things are steady. It may become more volatile as we get closer to the election but that may be a short-term bounce.

We look to have the correct asset allocation and for us we invest in good companies and conduct extensive research on them – searching out those companies who exhibit growing earnings and researching other opportunities.

Where do you see the opportunities?

The US is one of the best places to invest in right now. Interest rates are low and look to stay fairly low over the next few years. We are still investing in Europe in both individual companies like Rolls Royce and within Mutual Funds on a valuation basis.

What advice would you give an investor as we approach the Election?

Don’t make any major changes. Look at your investment over the long term. With some industries, having Donald Trump win would be better – including the pharmaceutical companies as Hillary Clinton is looking to control pricing. But both are speaking about re-negotiation of trade agreements in NAFTA and the Pacific Trade Agreement. But again, we’re not going to make any macro changes. These candidates have to answer to Congress and ultimately, and to reiterate what I said before, we look long term and in good companies to gain the best results for our clients.

Colleen Kelleher Sorrentino, CFA, Managing Director

Colleen launched Wall Street Access’ asset management business in 1995 and works with high net worth individuals, families, foundations and corporations to build diversified, multi-asset class portfolios of cash, bonds, stocks, mutual funds, ETFs and REITs for their liquid assets. In addition to building appropriate portfolios, Colleen provides advice and a wide range of services in: alternative investments, cash management, concentrated stock, income needs, estate planning, insurance and annuities, lending, mortgages, retirement planning, 401Ks and IRAs, solutions for business, trusts, college planning and 529 plans. Colleen is a graduate of the University of Rochester with an MBA in Finance from the Stern School of Business at New York University. Colleen was awarded the Chartered Financial Analyst designation in 2000. In 2008,Colleen was selected as one of the “50 Most Influential Women” by the Irish Voice magazine.Additionally, she was awarded “The Wealth Manager of the Year” award in 2011 by ManhattanMagazine.