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Connor Browne – FAANG Stocks Dominance

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They are known as the FAANGs but Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google/Alphabet should also be dubbed the great disruptors. They have created new businesses and destroyed old ones, changing the way we conduct our personal and business lives in the process.

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Will they continue to dominate their respective and ever expanding fields, even as they encroach on each other’s turf?

In this week’s web EXTRA we talk to Connor Browne, portfolio manager of Thornburg Value Fund, who bought both Google and Facebook at their IPOs and has owned Apple and Amazon at various points of time, to get his and his firm’s thinking on their current and future prospects.

In this, the final week of public television’s spring fund raising drive, we are revisiting the topic: what makes you happy?

That is not a question we usually ask ourselves on a personal finance/investment program like WEALTHTRACK, publicly at least. Privately is another matter. But the question is not farfetched for us.

A primary motivation behind WEALTHTRACK’S mission: “helping our audience and ourselves build financial security to last a lifetime,” is achieving happiness.  We recognize that financial wellbeing makes achieving life’s goals much easier and is a major anxiety reducer.

That’s why I was intrigued when I heard that Kristi Mitchem, a high-ranking woman in the financial services industry whom I know and respect, had commissioned a survey about what makes millennials happy.

A reminder, millennials are the generation born between 1980 and 1997. These 20-36 year olds are close to 80 million strong. They make up nearly a quarter of the population - that’s larger than the baby boomers. But they are weighed-down by debt. Millennials are carrying 80% of the $1.3 trillion student loan burden.

Why should we care about their happiness? What relevance does it have for the rest of us?  It turns out it does which is why this week’s guest is Kristi Mitchem, the CEO of Wells Fargo Asset Management which she joined in June of 2016 and where she oversees nearly $500 billion of assets. Prior to Wells Fargo, Mitchem headed up State Street Global Advisors’ Americas Institutional Client Group. Before that she was in charge of the U.S. defined contribution business (think 401k retirement plans) for  BlackRock’s and Barclays Global Investors’ clients.

Throughout her career Mitchem has been a passionate advocate for sponsoring and promoting women in management.  She was a driving force behind the 2016 creation of the SSGA Gender Diversity Index and its (SHE) SPDR® ETF. The symbol is SHE. It’s comprised of U.S. based large cap companies that are gender diverse in their senior leadership positions.

Before we talked about the connections between financial planning and happiness for millennials and the rest of us, I asked her about the Wells Fargo banking scandal. Just weeks after her arrival news broke that ultimately more than 2 million fake customer accounts had been created by some employees at the Wells Fargo Community Banking division.

If you miss the show on television you can always watch it on our website at your convenience.  If you’d like to see the show before it airs, it is available to our PREMIUM subscribers right now.  We also have an exclusive EXTRA interview with Mitchem about the fact that there are still so few women in the top ranks of major corporations and the organization she has joined to change that. It’s called Paradigm for Parity.

If you would like to take WEALTHTRACK with you on your commute or travels, you can now find the WEALTHTRACK podcast on TuneInStitcher, and SoundCloud, as well as iTunes. Find out more on the WEALTHTRACK Podcast page

Thank you for watching.  Have a great weekend and make the week ahead a profitable and a productive one.

Best regards,


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