Washington Association of Money Managers
 
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1st  September  2014

Dear WAMM Colleagues:

Greetings from sunny Denver! I’m out west this week for an oil and gas investment conference in Denver, along with numerous meetings on the west coast.

This note serves as my formal introduction to all of you. During the annual meeting of in June, the board elected me President of the Association for 2014-2015. It was quite the surprise – completely unexpected.

Thank you for selecting me. It is an honor.

I look forward to working with our board, the program committee and the membership of WAMM during the next year. The program committee is actively developing the speaking engagements for the year. We have a number of new speakers from organizations that have not presented at WAMM.

The first meeting for the 2014 – 2015 season is Tuesday evening, September 23rd.
Our guest speaker is Dr. David F. Gordon, Chairman and Head of Research, of the EurAsia Group (www.eurasiagroup.net), a global political risk research and consulting firm.

Dr. Gordon’s visit comes at an interesting time of substantial geo-political and macro-economic risk, combined with volatile and frothy markets. Here are just a few items that have added risk to the market and challenged us as money managers this year:

  • • Russia invades part of Ukraine and annexes Crimea. The world is waiting to see what the Russian Army does next
  • • A Boeing 777 jet is shot down by a Russian Buk missile fired by separatists in Ukraine
  • • Middle East tensions boil as Libya implodes, Gaza erupts, AQ forces from Syria seize parts of Iraq and threaten the flow of energy supplies
  • • Chinese PLA officers are indicted by the US for cyber-hacking, while tensions increase in the South and East China Seas with Japan, Korea, Philippines and Vietnam
  • • The Fed keeps interest rates artificially low, stoking inflation fears and possibly creating an equity bubble
  • • Ebola
  • • The US prepares for mid-term elections that may change control of the Senate
  • • And, Argentina defaults – again

However, this negative news is offset by many positives – including the success in the American shale oil and natural gas fracturing business thanks to many hard working entrepreneurs and their new technology. This hydrocarbon boom may yield an American renaissance in advanced manufacturing with the re-shoring of jobs stateside.

I have a number of new ideas that will be implemented during the 2014-2015 program year. Here are a few of them:

  • • Increase diversity in speakers with more international backgrounds, including the global emerging and frontier markets, and commentary from the US energy sector
  • • A trial program to host 1-2 events in other Beltway locations – i.e., Bethesda and Tysons Corner
  • • Expand use of social media – primarily through Twitter and our LinkedIn group account
  • • Conduct an investment field trip

You should consider this note as a formal request to each and everyone one of you for your insights, comments and ideas on what you want WAMM to do, where it can improve its operations, things that work well, and areas that need improvement. I am not looking for just the complaints – I want to see your proposed solutions also.

I also want to thank the current board members and the program committee for their hard work. WAMM is a great group with excellent events. Thank you!

Finally, I respectfully request the following from each of you:

  • 1. Please renew your individual and/or corporate membership in WAMM.
  • 2. We have a goal of increasing our membership. Please notify your friends and colleagues in the business. Refer them to our website, our LinkedIn group, and to the programs – especially September’s EurAsia presentation.

Thank you for your continued support of WAMM, and for all of your insights and comments. Best wishes to you and your families for a great finish to a wonderful summer, and good luck in the markets!

 

Best regards,

Ed Luzine

 

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