FireSide x Mary Ann Bartels: Follow your gut, follow your intuition

Mary Ann Bartels, Chief Investment Strategist at Sanctuary Wealth, joins us for a conversation on markets, career building, women pathfinders and more.

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March 14, 2024 | 42 minute read

About this episode

Mary Ann Bartels, Chief Investment Strategist at Sanctuary Wealth and one of the industry’s most trusted experts in economic analysis and financial communication, joins Chief U.S. Economist Lara Rhame for a conversation on market trends, career building, women pathfinders and more.

Listen for the 2024 economic outlook she refers to as a “bucking bull,” her storied path to success in finance (including the trailblazing aunt who broke barriers in the male-dominated world of 1970s Wall Street) and what it means to “follow your gut, follow your intuition.”

As a part of our celebration of Women’s History Month, we’re featuring conversations with the women shaping financial futures. Join us as we honor the trailblazers among our colleagues, industry leaders and partners.

Transcript excerpt

Lara Rhame:
Welcome back to FireSide, a podcast from FS Investments. I’m Lara Rhame, Chief U.S. Economist here at FS. And today, I am thrilled to have a guest from our partner, Sanctuary Wealth. It is my pleasure to welcome Mary Ann Bartels, Chief Investment Strategist at Sanctuary. Mary Ann, welcome.

Mary Ann Bartels:
Oh, thank you so much for having me.

Lara Rhame:
I’m not going to read your whole experience and your impressive bio here on this podcast. It includes names like Merrill Lynch and Bank of America. You know, you’re an institutional investor, ranked research analyst and you’re a regular presence on media channels—CNBC, Bloomberg, Barron’s. I regularly read your research, and I’m going to say this as somebody who also writes—thank you for all the work you put into your weekly research notes. I think they are a tremendous, valuable resource for advisors, so, I highly recommend that as required reading.

Mary Ann Bartels:
Oh, thank you. That’s very kind of you to say.

Lara Rhame:
I think today we’re going to talk about a lot of different aspects of investing, markets, the economy and your career and background. And we can’t forget that March is Women’s Month. And I want to sprinkle in some of your unique perspective, given that there are so few women who have achieved your professional success.

Before we get to that, though, I want to talk about markets. You know, you described 2024 and your outlook as a “bucking bull,” which is a fabulous visual.

I think I love the way you describe things because people know immediately what you’re talking about. But—dig into it. What are you thinking and why is the direction not just going to be up? Because it feels like that’s all that we’ve seen since the start of the year.

Mary Ann Bartels:
I mean, I think you have more bucking right now in the fixed income markets and you’ve had the equity markets—we started to buck in the beginning of the year that it was straight up. Now you have a little bit of bucking going on. But what I was trying to convey to our advisors and to clients is that even if you see some volatility within the markets, don’t give up on the markets—both the fixed income market and the equity markets—that they’re still positioned for investors to invest in.

Because there’s been a lot of concern. Are we going to have a recession? Not a recession? We have a presidential election! Is the Fed going to lower rates by how much? I mean, there’s just so, so, so many geopolitical events going on. And I wanted to give people perspective that although things may not look perfect,  just, you know, continue to invest in markets.

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Lara Rhame

Chief U.S. Economist + Managing Director

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