Top investment execs talk inflation with Colorado Springs clients

COLORADO SPRINGS — For most of 2022, month-on-month inflation was above 8 percent. Most recently, it fell just under eight percent, but the latest number is still considered high.

“I just think people are nervous this year because obviously you’ve had a lot of market volatility. And so this year has been a bit strange because both stocks and bonds have fallen. That doesn’t happen often in the past,” said Brent Schutte, chief investment officer at Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company.

Northwestern executives traveled to Colorado Springs from their home office in Wisconsin for face-to-face meetings with employees and clients.

“I think it’s important to go public and talk to individual investors and let them ask questions,” said Schutte.

He has been with the company for more than 25 years and has overcome many headline-grabbing economic hurdles during that time.

“I went through COVID, I went through the Great Financial Crisis, I went through the stock market crash of 2000.”

During a question-and-answer session in Colorado Springs, Schutte said it’s important to understand what’s causing inflation in order to make informed decisions about when it will ease.

“When you alleviate what’s wrong with the economy, you alleviate what’s wrong with the market. And I think next year will be a better year for those investors who invest in both stocks and bonds.”

Over the past year, an abundance of cash has flowed into the economy while the supply chain issues limited goods. The basic economic principle of supply and demand has driven prices up.

Added to this was the high demand for employees. Business leaders who raise wages to attract workers often offset the cost by raising the prices of their goods and services.

Schutte sees signs that some of the factors causing inflation are gradually easing.

“If we pull it apart. And we see, you see, all of the things that got us where we are are now pointing in the opposite direction,” Schutte said, “and that’s why I have a feeling you’re going to have the biggest economic concerns , which will ease inflation.”

He also warns that improvements will not come quickly.

His discussions of investing include looking ahead five, 10, and 15 years or more.

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