News & Events

Steve Forbes and John Schlifske on
"The New Normal and Post-Recession Trends”

Northwestern Mutual hosted a speaker series with Steve Forbes and Northwestern Mutual chairman and CEO John Schlifske. The three day tour included panel discussions in Louisville, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Houston and Dallas, and saw nearly 4,000 attendees in total. In Cleveland, where there were over 400 in attendance, Steve and John discussed the economy, the markets and how individuals and business owners can rebuild their financial foundation. Key insights presented at the events were:
 
  • In the ‘new normal’ consumers should manage risk first. In the ‘new normal’ consumers need to have a plan to manage risks that were once considered remote, such as extreme market volatility. According to Schlifske, successful financial planning means embracing time-tested methods for long-term gains, focusing on steady, consistent growth. 
  • The recovery is real, but we have a long way to go. With the recession and market volatility of 2009 behind us, Schlifske and Forbes agree that the country has entered a recovery phase but note that we will continue to be challenged by flat markets, minimal interest rate returns and threats of inflation or deflation. Forbes stressed that the recovery is a long, steady road that is certain to have ups and downs, but the goal is to employ a strategy that anticipates and overcomes those variances to be positioned for future success. 
  • Post-recession trends include goal-based investing, longer-term plan horizons and a greater appreciation of the risks of over-leveraging. Research conducted by Northwestern Mutual found that consumers are extending their planning timeframes and placing an increased importance on saving.
For more thoughts on these and other business topics, visit the Northwestern Mutual Resource Center of the Forbes.com Fact & Comment page.
 
To view photos from this event, click here.

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