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Join host James Connor and real estate expert Loreen Gilbert, Wealthwise Financial CEO, as they discuss the latest revolving around real estate, if now is the time to rent or buy and if we’ll ever see fixed 30-year mortgage rates slump down to 3%. Loreen shares own outlook on GDP numbers, interest rate expectations, and the impacts this could have on the U.S. housing market. She also shares her insights on how remote work could be impacting the sector as a whole and her best advice for Gen Z and millennials who are looking to purchase a home! Don’t miss Loreen’s strategic advice on navigating the complexities of the economy to protect and grow your wealth.


Loreen Gilbert  0:00  
People thought that his rates went up that home prices would go down. And that has not happened. And the reason it has not happened is you still have more demand than there is supply. So for home builders, that's good.

James Connor  0:18  
Hi, and welcome to Wealthion. I'm James Connor. And today my guest is Loreen Gilbert of WealthWise and we're gonna hear Lorraine's views on the latest GDP numbers and what these numbers mean to interest rate expectations, and also what these two factors mean to the US housing market.

Loreen, thank you very much for joining us today. The last time we spoke, you were in the great state of Texas, now you're in California, what takes you to California?

Loreen Gilbert  0:47  
Well, I go back and forth quite a bit. And we have a lot of clients in the state of California and Southern California region in particular. And so right now I'm meeting with clients in this region, and then I'll be going back to Texas on Sunday. meeting clients, they're actually going to Austin next week and speaking  at a conference.

James Connor  1:10  
Oh, very good. And I'm kind of curious when you have clients in I believe, 28 states, is that correct? 

Loreen Gilbert  1:16  
That's right. That's right. 

James Connor  1:17  
And when you look at clients that are based in Texas versus those in California, do you do they have different concerns about what's happening within the country?

Loreen Gilbert  1:28  
Well, I would say culturally, there's, there is a difference. And, and it's, you know, people are, you know, but overall, I would say people have the same overall goals, as far as you know, getting to retirement and, you know, taking care of their families. So the basic goals are pretty similar. I'll also say, what's interesting is that, whether they're in California or Texas, I'm seeing people move around a lot. So still that ongoing effect after COVID is people can live anywhere they want to live. And so there's still a lot of movement. You hear about the movement from California, to Texas or Florida. But even in Texas, I'm seeing people, mainly because of kids, and where are the kids going to be? Then people moving? You know, maybe Tennessee or North Carolina or what not? So that's interesting that that's there's similarities there.

James Connor  2:29  
Yeah. Now it's all about lifestyle. And as you mentioned, it's all about state taxes, too, right? So many people are leaving

Loreen Gilbert  2:36  

James Connor  2:37  
high, high tax states like California, they're moving to Texas, also to Florida. And I just spoke to somebody recently, they just moved to Nashville, because of the...

Loreen Gilbert  2:47  
Nashville's huge a lot of people moving there. And I'll tell you, I don't see that trend slowing down or stopping and anytime soon, I think that's going to continue.

James Connor  2:55  
Well, one thing that everybody's concerned about, regardless of where they are in the US, is the economy. So I want to ask you about this now, we recently saw some GDP numbers come out, they were lower than what we were expecting. They came in at 1.6%. And expectations were for 2.4%. Are you concerned at all with these lower GDP numbers? And what's your take on the US economy overall?

Loreen Gilbert  3:19  
Yeah, so I'll say that, you know, certainly we would have liked that GDP number to be closer to the expectations. What's interesting about that number, is not only did it miss the federal expectations, the Feds but the Atlanta now GDP number two, which they've been, you know, pretty accurate. But it clearly missed their numbers as well. So what we saw is that durable goods have slowed down, that was a significant part of this, miss, as it were, but I'll say the numbers still positive. And the number is is is not just barely positive, but still very positive. And so what I would say is, the economy continues to move along, wealthy it at a slower pace. It's moving along.

James Connor  4:08  
And I want to get your views on interest rates. Now, when we started the year, everybody was looking for six cuts, or that's what the Fed was communicating to the markets, then that moved down to three cuts. And now with these latest GDP numbers, and also with some inflation numbers that we've seen here in the last month or so, now, we're talking one cut, what what's your view on interest rate cuts? When do you think they're going to start and how many are you looking for this year?

Loreen Gilbert  4:35  
Yeah, so let's talk about the market really got ahead of itself with and that's why we saw the rally at the beginning of the year, is that the markets were pricing in a march rate cut, which clearly did not happen. And then, you know, kind of pushed it out. We were thinking, you know, maybe this summer, and the Federal Reserve came out with their summary economic projections. And indicated, you know, then three rate cuts. But now what we're seeing is that with the data that's coming out, I think the Fed is going to hold longer, I still think that we're going to see two rate cuts this year, September and end of the year. So you know, we're looking at potentially two rate cuts, what was encouraging is the PCE number, so the PCE number was still higher than we would like, actually came down from the month prior. So that was that was significant, because it did not continue to trend upward. So while I think, you know, the Fed is going to pause, I do not see a rate hike in the future in the near future. So I think they're just going to pause for longer, and then start on their rate cuts.

James Connor  5:50  
And one thing that's very interesting with regard to inflation numbers, the 10 year yield on the 10 year has gone from a low of 4% in early March, it's gotten as high as 4.6 to 4.7% now. Well, does this concern you at all this backup in the interest rates, and also, a lot of the commentary that I'm reading now, is talking about this slowing economy at the same time, we still have this strong inflation? And a lot of people might call that stagflation. Is this something that concerns you at all?

Loreen Gilbert  6:24  
Right, well, so let's talk about that. So as the 10 year goes up, what it does, the impact is that people have to decide that's the risk free rate. So that being a higher number, you have to look at the backdrop against stocks and say, Okay, if my risk free rate is higher, then my stocks have to perform even better. And in a sense, it makes course the risk free rate attractive. So you know, the impact there too, is going to be higher mortgage rates, it's also going to mean higher money market rates for longer. So it just means when we look at those alternatives to stocks, it's going to be a little bit, it's gonna be attractive, which is why I've been saying, even a more conservative portfolio, we recently were onboarding a new client, who's very conservative. And, you know, he said, Is that a problem for me to be to this conservative, not really, because, you know, what we're seeing here, you know, you've got these rates that we have, and then when the Fed starts to cut, we're gonna see a bump up on bond prices. So whereas bond prices have gone down, because yields have gone up, then when the yield goes down, the bond price is going to go back up. So it's, it's okay. I'm not overly concerned about it when it comes to stagflation. You know, certainly, that's something we always have to look at, are we going to get back to where we were in the 70s? And have that stagflation. But, you know, I don't, I don't think that's where we're going. And I think the Federal Reserve has actually managed this very difficult and uncertain situation. Pretty darn well. So, so far, we're still seeing the soft landing, which is remarkable, because, you know, a year ago, we're all very concerned about recession.

James Connor  8:23  
That's correct. And a year ago, we very concerned to about this regional banking crisis that started with I believe it was Silicon Valley Bank, one Signature Bank, then we had issues with Credit Suisse and a few other banks. But the Fed did a very good job of navigating that situation too.

Loreen Gilbert  8:42  
That's right. And, you know, while there's still, you know, some uncertainty with the regionals, you know, a little bit of fear and trepidation on actually going in, in that area of the market, the banks have done just fine. And then, you know, eventually there'll be some opportunities and regional banks, as that settles out the issues there as far as their balance sheet.

James Connor  9:03  
So let's look at the stock market. Now. The s&p did very well in q1, but now we're into q2, we're seeing q1 numbers coming out. It's been choppy, I guess, in the last couple of weeks. But I believe 50% of all SMP companies report it, most of them, in fact, actually beat some big beats out of Google. They also announced their first ever dividend and also a massive buyback, I believe, $70 billion. But what's your take on the numbers that we've seen so far?

Loreen Gilbert  9:31  
Yeah. So this earning season that we're reporting on now, has been very good. It's been in line with five year averages. It's been strong as far as the beats, like you mentioned. And it's interesting, though, to see how the market has reacted to, to what companies are saying and you mentioned Google, that was a good example of a growth company announcing a dividend. And in years past that would have been A stock that would have been punished for a growth company announcing a dividend. Instead, the market reacted very favorably stock went up in price. And we saw that last year with meta same story. So I think there is a trend here. And the next one that we may see, we might see Amazon actually announcing a dividend. So, you know, it's interesting. And when you think about what is that, what does that mean? That means and why does the market reward those companies, but those companies are saying, Look, we are stable enough, even though we're a high growth company, we're stable enough to now announce a dividend. And with that, investors like that, that gives investors confidence. And it also as we have an aging population, we have people growing older, people who are growing older, looked at dividend income. And so you know, you wonder if some of these companies are thinking about that saying, you know, our shareholders are people who are getting older, they may need a dividend. So it's an interesting phenomenon.

James Connor  11:01  
Yeah. And I guess the other element is to some of these tech companies, they have so much damn cash, they can't deploy. Right. So they just have to give it back. 

Loreen Gilbert  11:10  
I'll mention that, you know, it's interesting, because Meta, you know, Mark Zuckerberg announced that they were going to start spending more well, the market actually punished them. And that's interesting. I think they were having, you know, a little bit of PTSD, because of the prior time when Mark indicated they were going to spend a lot that was the metaverse and, you know, where did that go? So maybe, you know, the markets are a little bit concerned, or shareholders a little bit concerned about that. But it is interesting how the stock is reacting based, certainly on guidance of what is being said.

James Connor  11:47  
And you mentioned how a lot of these companies are spending money. And a lot of these big tech companies are spending billions of dollars on AI. And I believe it was Microsoft and Google. I think Amazon also announced they're spending like $10 billion a quarter in building out this AI infrastructure. What are your thoughts on this? And is this whole AI movement real? Or is it all hype?

Loreen Gilbert  12:12  
It's definitely real. It's definitely real, but I'll say is that we're in the infancy still. It's an exciting time. And what the markets are looking for, is, what is the guidance from each of these companies on what they're doing in the area of AI? So that is the catalyst. That is what the market is looking for? How are they spending their money? And where I think we're gonna see the impact are these companies as they utilize AI. So, so far, the market has rewarded companies like Nvidia, which are the construction of AI, but they're not actually the companies that are going to utilize AI, and see the benefit in their consumer sales. So the future though, of AI is really how these companies deploy it, utilize it. And that's why these companies are spending so much money, they know it's a race, it's a race to say, how can we implement this? How can we improve our sales or revenue numbers? Because of AI? Those are going to be the winners.

James Connor  13:19  
Yeah. And I guess when I ask about whether or not it's hype or not, I'm thinking about NF T's and also web three, right? Like, they were big movements a few years ago, and they just kind of dropped away, and you don't hear too much about them. But and then when you look at like, it seems like every company is out there is adopting some sort of AI strategy. I just read an article recently about Walmart, they're going to implement some sort of AI strategy for their sales force so they can sell products better internally. I'm not too sure about that.

Loreen Gilbert  13:50  
So let me use an example. A Tesla is a great example of this that Tesla keeps saying, Look, we're not we're not an automotive company, we're a tech company. They have the ability with the self driving vehicle, they are so far advanced more than any other company, and that is robotics and AI. And so as they continue to develop their AI infrastructure, they're going to continue to dominate, you know, companies like that. So, so that's what I'm saying the AI story is real. And now it's how do these companies companies actually implement it to improve market share?

James Connor  14:32  
Yeah, that's an interesting point using when you discuss Tesla because at one point, they were pitching themselves as an EV company or manufacturer of EVs, but now they're focusing more on the AI element in this autonomous driving and it's going to be interesting to see how that company evolves in the coming years. 

Loreen Gilbert  14:51  
That's right. 

James Connor  14:52  
Loreen, There has been a lot of concern with the US housing market and where prices might be going, and there's no denying that higher rates The Straits have led to higher mortgage rates. And this has caused a lot of pain for a lot of individuals. But what are your thoughts about the US housing market? And where do you see prices going into 2025?

Loreen Gilbert  15:10  
Right? Okay, that's. So we've definitely seen higher interest rates, and it's had an effect of people not wanting to sell their homes, we have a lot of Americans sitting at a 3% mortgage rate. By the way, that's why the consumer has been so strong, there's been enough discretionary income from the lower rates that people walked into, gave people more money to spend. Now, where, where we're also seeing a lot of strength is on the low end of the market below a million dollars on home sales, because those are first time homebuyers. So you have people who are more easily able to, to afford a higher rate on a mortgage because the mortgage isn't as large. And so what you're seeing in those homes is you're seeing offering prices go for either the offer price or higher. So you still see that on the lower end of the market, where you're seeing it take longer to sell a home is over a million dollars. And so the home sits on the market longer, but they're still selling. And so what we're seeing with homebuilders is they're still building because there isn't enough supply in housing. So we still have housing needs, so home builders continue to build. So what I say overall, is the housing market is still strong. And then what we're seeing with the that people just don't want to move, as rates go lower. Again, once rates start to go down, I think we're going to see the housing market continue to be strong. So I don't see a problem in the housing market, I actually see that we still have more people who need housing, that that want to buy houses, the millennials, who are starting to buy their first home. So it's still see a lot of pipeline, as far as purchases are concerned.

James Connor  17:05  
And what's a mortgage go for now in the US?

Loreen Gilbert  17:09  
6% or so?

James Connor  17:11  
And do you think we will ever see 3% mortgage market again,

Loreen Gilbert  17:16  
You know, I don't think that we're going to see those low lows as far as a 30 year fixed mortgage at like 2.75 or 3%. But if we settle into, you know, again, in the fours, lower fives, that would be positive that people can, you know, I think people are going to have to get used to, again, that we're going to have a little bit higher than those, by the way or not. Those are bad rates, really historically, long term rates.

James Connor  17:47  
And what advice would you give a young millennial or Gen Z about buying a home versus renting? 

Loreen Gilbert  17:54  
Yeah so, you know, eventually, the reason to buy a home is, is a protection against inflation. If there's one thing we've learned over the last few years is inflation, Israel, and it is going to impact your lifestyle. And so with that the reason for buying a home at current dollars is that as inflation continues to impact, you're locked in, hopefully with a fixed mortgage. And so it's easier and easier over time to afford that home, and you've locked in your price. So the message to millennials is yes, you know, continue to save for your down payment, and then buy a home. And what we've seen a lot of people doing is buy their home at these higher rates with the intention of eventually refinancing that home when rates are lower.

James Connor  18:46  
So you're not concerned about the residential housing market. Now I want to talk about commercial I was recently having a conversation with Ben Laidler. From eToro. He lives in London, he works at Canary Wharf. And he made mention of the fact that only 50% of the people are back to work in their offices within Canary Wharf, and that's a huge complex, right 1000s of people working there, but what are your thoughts about this whole work from home thing and remote work policies? Do you think that's having an impact on commercial real estate prices in the US? And do you think this could be a concern going forward? 

Loreen Gilbert  19:25  
Yeah, so I'll tell you that office is an area that I would from an investment standpoint, I would stay away from right now because there's a lot of pain there. That's going to continue to ripple through office. So just as a sector of commercial real estate, that's an area that's hurting even so as an example of that. Even in Austin, Texas, which Austin Texas is booming, right. You see cranes everywhere. But I just heard from a colleague there that their vacancy rate for office spaces over the top So huge vacancies, even as there's continuing building there. So, office is going to go through a slump, that's going to be long living. So it's going to take a while now, I do think that more people are coming back into the office yet more companies that are requiring workers to be back in the office. But as far as office space, there's still so much vacancy, it's going to take a while to work through. And that could take up to 10 years to work through that. Just that the vacancies, so so it could take a long time. 

James Connor  20:39  
Yes, it's interesting to see this follow from the pandemic, I was really changed the typical five day workweek right now, we have people working four days a week, they're working from home and working remotely. And the implications are quite massive. 

Loreen Gilbert  20:55  
Yeah, but you keep hearing, I mean, certainly Wall Street, had everybody come back to the office and said, You're not going to have a job if you don't. And I think we're seeing a lot of that, that, that companies want their workers to be novice. So I think you're still going to have some of this flex hybrid situation, but more and more people coming back into the office. 

James Connor  21:15  
Well, that was an interesting discussion Loreen and if somebody would like to learn more about you, and the various services that your firm offers, where can they go.

Loreen Gilbert  21:24  
So they can go to So that's and, or they can email us at

James Connor  21:34  
Well, once again, that was a great discussion. I want to thank you for spending time with us today and enjoy yourself in California.

Loreen Gilbert  21:40  
Thank you so much, have a great day. 

James Connor  21:43  
Well, I hope you enjoyed that discussion with Lauren Gilbert and it provided you with some insights on what to expect in the coming months in the financial markets. As we discussed, navigating the financial markets and planning for your financial future can be an overwhelming process and if you need help with this, consider having a discussion with a Wealthion endorsed financial advisor at Wealthion has aligned themselves with some exceptional advisors to simplify the financial planning process. Once again, you can find further details at Thank you very much for being with us today and I look forward to seeing you again soon.

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