People of BlackRock with Heidi Richardson
I’m Heidi Richardson. I’m Head of Investment Strategy for US iShares and what I do is really take some of the complicated situations going on in the global landscape and try to make those really easy for not only our clients to understand but employees at BlackRock.
Oftentimes, I’m just in the office really trying to figure out – as in the words of the great Wayne Gretsky – where is the puck going? And so, thinking about how investors should be thinking about positioning their portfolio moving forward as opposed to just looking up what happened over the past.
You know as a kid, I never thought that I would end up working for a Wall Street firm or in financial services. I was a bit of a math nerd, and I knew that I would do something that involved math and I really wanted to be a schoolteacher. Fortunately for me, I think, my job rewards me as an educator but yet, you know, I’m making a difference and making sure financial advisors are making the best decision for their clients.
I think at BlackRock, it really stems from the top. From Larry making sure that everyone is a student of the market. What does that actually mean? It’s just understanding how all of this works, right? If we think about the dot.com bubble, people thought they were diversified by owning a variety of technology stocks. When you think about the financial crisis, right, the housing bubble, people didn’t know the type of mortgage they took out. So you get hooked into low rates and then when those reset, you suddenly are left with a mortgage you can’t afford. We can’t allow that to happen again. It’s our job to make sure that everyone is a student of the market, whether it’s employees here at the firm or our investors and their investors; they understand how all of this works.
People think, you know “I don’t know anything about the stock market, I don’t need to know anything about the stock market, I don’t invest.” But you know what? Everyone needs to be a student of the market. If you think about Janet Yellen and the Federal Reserve Bank raising interest rates here in the US. They’re basing that on things like inflation, and economic growth, right? Labor markets, unemployment. Whether you’re investing in Wall Street or not, and in a financial portfolio, it’s going to impact you. And it’s going to impact you whether it’s your savings rate at the bank, if your mortgage loan or your car loan is going to increase based on Fed policy, everyone needs to understand how this stuff works so they don’t make bad decisions. So it’s not about buying and selling stocks on the exchange, it’s about understanding how all these variables work together.
The opinions expressed are current as of January 1, 2017 and are subject to change. Reliance upon information in this video is at the sole discretion of the viewer.