By Lorie Konish, CNBC featuring Brian Spinelli, CFP®, AIF®Chair of Investment Committee/Senior Wealth Advisor at Halbert Hargrove


  • Financial advisors who landed on the 2022 CNBC FA 100 list are hearing concerns about high inflation and a possible recession from their clients.
  • While those top experts admit they don’t know exactly how today’s uncertainties will shake out, there are definite reasons to be both optimistic and opportunistic, they say.

As the U.S. economy attempts to find its footing as it emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic, two looming uncertainties have emerged: persistent high inflation and a possible recession.

So it’s no surprise that financial advisors who landed on the CNBC FA 100 list for 2022 are hearing about those two concerns from their clients.

“Clients are getting bombarded with recession headlines and inflation headlines, and they don’t know what to do about them,” said Brian Spinelli, senior wealth advisor and investment committee chair at Long Beach, California-based Halbert Hargrove, which ranked No. 8 on this year’s FA 100 list.

Halbert Hargrove’s clients include high net worth individuals and families, who range from young investors still accumulating wealth to retirees who rely on their portfolios for income.

For the bulk of those clients, this isn’t the first time they’ve seen big market pullbacks or recessions, Spinelli said.

But what tends to scare people is knowing that this time will be different than the last, he said.

“We’ve never had something like this in 40 years,” Spinelli said he tells clients of the combination of record-high inflation and recession fears.

“But you’ve gone through something 10 times worse about 14 years ago,” he said he adds as a reminder of the financial crisis.

Take the emotion out of it

Top advisors admit they don’t know exactly how today’s uncertainties, including the Russia/Ukraine war and supply chain issues, will shake out.

But there are definite reasons for optimism – and opportunities, they say.

“It may be painful, but there’s nothing here that’s non-fixable,” said Bruce Kardon, president and chief investment officer at Conservest Capital Advisors in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, which placed No. 82 on the FA 100 list.

While the question is whether it will take either a soft landing or hard landing to get there, “it is not Armageddon,” Kardon said.

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