The British Were Here

US Wealth McCarthy |

Last Monday and Tuesday, I enjoyed attending the annual LPL conference – FOCUS – at the Convention Center in South Boston.  It was an intimate gathering of about 5,000 LPL independent financial advisors! 

The facilities were first class…plenty of room for exhibitors and the technical sessions offered, which made up the bulk of each day’s events.  It was a great learning experience for me, and the other attendees also felt the same. 

Each year’s conference has one or more keynote speakers.  The first we heard from was Ron Insana, the market commentator from CNBC.  He deadpanned his opening by stating, “….Not much in the news today.  North Korea launched a rocket which landed in Northern Japan.”  After the crowd reacted, he said, “Just kidding.  It’s early, and I want to be sure you are awake!” 

Like most market commentators, he was able to provide some personal insights into the markets and some insights into a few influential market personalities (Warren Buffet and the late Steve Jobs among others).  While an interesting and amusing personality, he was offering his personal opinions, not making market forecasts. 

The main speaker was David Cameron, the former British Prime Minister.  He had a prepared speech that was both timely and substantive.  He resigned as Prime Minister after the Brexit vote, which he opposed.  His insights on nationalism in both Europe and in the U.S. were interesting.  He proposed a re-evaluation of Britain’s relationship with the European Union but wanted to stay in the Union and work for change from within, rather than leave – Brexit. 

Cameron is a strong supporter of the U.S., “…we need the U.S. to lead the world…” but not a strong supporter of some of the current U.S. policies.  He did agree, however, with the need for border controls and renegotiating many of the trade deals that were made under different economic circumstances. 

A very charismatic, excellent speaker, David Cameron probably will be Prime Minister of Great Britain again.  It was a pleasure to have a speaker from “across the pond.”