Liz Young, head of investment strategy at personal finance company and bank SoFi, discusses markets, the investor movement to DIY investing, and her investment process and market outlook with DoubleLine’s Jeffrey Sherman and Samuel Lau in this episode recorded Sept. 12, 2023. Their conversation begins with a discussion of Ms. Young’s career (1:06) in the investment industry and her path to SoFi, where she dispenses her economic, investment and market insights to a variety of audiences. Then she discusses the evolution of investors (6:04), away from “high-touch advisory” investment professionals to DIY investing, a movement with which SoFi works to bring education and tools to enable investors’ success. She notes the DIY movement has especially taken hold among younger people and new investors (9:15). For example, while the average age of clients at older brokerages is 55 to 65, 60% of SoFi’s investment clients are 20 to 40.
Turning to the investment process at SoFi (16:35), Ms. Young begins with her assessment of the macroeconomic cycle and whether the market is reflecting that assessment or reflecting something else. If inconsistencies arise between macro and market signals, she says, “in my head it means one of the two is wrong. One of these two data sets is sending the wrong message or the timing is off and then you try to figure out what’s happening.” She warns (21:12) that investors have become conditioned to expect troubles in the capital system will be corrected by an “open-ended insurance program” underwritten by fiscal authorities and central banks. “OK, rates are now up, but (people’s thinking goes) we have this sort of never-ending punch bowl of stimulus if something ever goes wrong. In my eyes, that’s probably the next thing that can’t last forever.” While some observers have theorized the absence of a long-telegraphed recession points to a soft landing, Ms. Young points to historical data (24:23), noting the economy has only recently neared or crossed the average time lags between leading indicator warnings and the advent of recession. Mr. Sherman agrees, adding that even when such average time gaps are crossed, volatility around the average could allow for further delay before the next contraction begins.
Subscribe to The Sherman Show™ Podcast on:
iTunes | SoundCloud | Spotify | Google Podcasts
Follow us on Twitter
Comments and suggestions should be directed to the ShermanShow@DoubleLine.com
As DoubleLine’s Deputy Chief Investment Officer, Jeffrey Sherman oversees and administers DoubleLine’s Investment Management sub-committee coordinating and implementing policies and processes across the investment teams. He also serves as lead portfolio manager for multi-sector and derivative-based strategies. Mr. Sherman is a member of DoubleLine’s Executive Management and Fixed Income Asset Allocation Committees. He can be heard regularly on his podcast “The Sherman Show” (Twitter @ShermanShowPod, ShermanShow@Doubleline.com) where he interviews distinguished guests, giving listeners insight into DoubleLine’s current views. In 2018, Money Management Executive named Jeffrey Sherman as one of “10 Fund Managers to Watch” in its yearly special report. Prior to joining DoubleLine in 2009, Mr. Sherman was a Senior Vice President at TCW where he worked as a portfolio manager and quantitative analyst focused on fixed income and real-asset portfolios. He was a statistics and mathematics instructor at both the University of the Pacific and Florida State University. Mr. Sherman taught Quantitative Methods for Level I candidates in the CFA LA/USC Review Program for many years. He holds a B.S. in Applied Mathematics from the University of the Pacific and an M.S. in Financial Engineering from the Claremont Graduate University. Mr. Sherman is a CFA® charterholder.
Mr. Lau joined DoubleLine in 2009. He is a Strategist on the Fixed Income Asset Allocation (FIAA) Committee and a contributing member on the Global Asset Allocation and Macro Committees. Mr. Lau is a Portfolio Manager on DoubleLine’s strategic commodity strategy while working in portfolio management and trading for derivatives-based and multi-asset strategies, including DoubleLine's Shiller Enhanced CAPE®, Shiller Enhanced International CAPE®, Real Estate and Income, and Multi-Asset Trend strategies. He also co-hosts the Sherman Show (Twitter @ShermanShowPod, ShermanShow@Doubleline.com) and Monday Morning Minutes (Twitter @DLineMinutes, Minutes@Doubleline.com) podcasts. Prior to DoubleLine, Mr. Lau was a Vice President at TCW where he worked under Jeffrey Gundlach as a Research Analyst in the Mortgage Group. He holds a B.S. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and an MBA from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California.