In the first half, money manager and market strategist Brad Lamensdorf offered analysis of the economic landscape. The current volatility in the stock market could be the end of the record-breaking bull market, he cited, but he foresees corrections rather than a crash. Exchange Traded Funds or ETFs, which are similar in some ways to mutual funds have become a popular investment option, he said. Because the economy is on the upswing, he suggested paying off or paying down debts as we are likely to see interest rates rise.
Commercial real estate, he noted, looks to be in for a rough ride in the US, which has massive overcapacity in this arena, particularly since a lot of the retail focus has shifted online. It's going to take awhile to re-purpose these properties into useful projects and alternatives to retail, he added. When choosing an investment advisor, he recommended asking to see their ADV, a regulatory form that is a report card of their career. Lamensdorf also talked about how 5G, an improved wireless network, could take cell phones to the next level with broader and more powerful bandwidth.
With a master's degree in sacred literature from Columbia University, specializing in the Vedas and the Bhagavad Gita, Dena Merriam is the founder of a women-led interfaith organization, the Global Peace Initiative of Women (GPIW). In the latter half, she discussed her dramatic and profound journey discovering her past lives and visiting some of the locations where her former incarnations lived. Rather than through hypnosis, her recall of past lives began coming to her through dreams and meditation, first fleetingly and then with more consistency. "I saw that bonds continue from one life to the next," she said, and a great relationship or love across lives does not dissipate and remains with you.
Merriam has remembered seven lives in detail and seen fascinating patterns and connections between them. In one of her most recent lives, when she left Russia, her mother had sewn jewels into her clothing for safekeeping. She relocated to Germany and eventually gave the hidden jewels to a Jewish professor to help Jews escape from Nazi Germany. In her life in Africa, in the early 18th century, she learned from a shaman but was raped and killed in a raid on her village, and her son was sold into slavery. In her next life, as though she was looking for her son's soul, she took birth in the American South during the plantation era. Karma, she explained, can begin in one life and continue in another.