Armed with his sandpaper voice and a fire-and-brimstone preacher's zeal, David Darst bemoans the lack of investor confidence and participation in the stock market, and its ominous implications.
"They have lost faith and trust in politics," he begins at a speech delivered to hedge fund managers. "They have lost faith and trust in the political powers in Washington."
The loss of faith and trust, he says, extends beyond the stock market to societal institutions all the way to religion.
But on this day, speaking to a few thousand fund pros at the Skybridge Alternatives , or SALT, conference in Las Vegas, the chief strategist at Morgan StanleySmith Barney is on hand not to talk about theology but about the religion of investing.
It is, he says to a hushed crowd that knows exactly what he's talking about, a faith that is losing converts every day.
"Your mission on this earth," Darst says in trying to simplify the equation, "is to determine price versus value."
Or at least that's the way it should be. Nowadays a financial adviser also has to convince investors that the stock market waters are calm and it's safe to go swimming again.
But the market is in a crisis marked more than anything by sheer apathy.Page 1 of 5 | Next Page