By Lorie Konish, CNBC featuring Brian Spinelli, CFP®, AIF®Co-Chief Investment Officer


  • As the economic forecast has mostly shifted from a recession to a soft landing, experts at firms who landed on this year’s CNBC FA 100 list are still watching for a downturn.
  • Despite those forecasts, here’s where they see opportunities for gains in stocks, bonds and cash.

Inflation has continued to take a bite out of Americans’ wallets in 2023. But onetime predictions that a recession is on the horizon are instead now turning into forecasts of a soft landing for the U.S. economy.

For top financial advisors who landed on the CNBC FA 100 list this year, the challenge is translating that economic forecast for clients and coming up with winning investment strategies.

“This is the million-dollar question on where we’re going to end up,” said Brian Spinelli, co-chief investment officer at Halbert Hargrove Global Advisors in Long Beach, California, which is No. 8 on this year’s list.

Investors will typically go through many investment cycles and they’re not necessarily going to time themselves with stocks, bonds and other areas of a portfolio, he said.

“In the short run, you could have the stock market doing really well,” Spinelli said. “And you could also have the economy cooling.”

As inflation climbed to 40-year highs and the Federal Reserve has repeatedly raised interest rates to keep price growth down, other financial advisors are also on high alert for a downturn.

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