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Stock Surge Ahead?

Morgan Stanley's chief analyst is bullish on stocks, new book looks at the Generation Wealth and SEI teams with Drexel Unversity on brain imaging technology.

Morgan Stanley's new chief U.S. equity strategist is bullish on stocks. Michael Wilson, who took over the chief strategist role from Adam Parker earlier this year, wrote a note to clients that lays out a "bull case" for stocks that sees the S&P 500 reach 3,000 points within 12 months, a gain of almost 30 percent. Wilson's base scenario even calls for gains of nearly 15 percent. Why? "Exceptionally loose financial conditions encourage the shift toward investor euphoria," Wilson wrote, according to CNBC. "Market technicals are in very good shape [now] ... 2016 was a difficult investment year for many, but the reality is that if one simply followed the business cycle and ignored the political one, it was fairly straightforward." Wilson is overweight financial, industrial, energy and technology stocks, with the energy sector being the single largest incremental driver of stock growth this year.

Generation Wealth

A new book by documentarian Lauren Greenfield explores the desire to be wealthy across the globe. Titled Generation Wealth, the book details the extreme measures taken to acquire and spend money, according to The New York Times' T Magazine. Included in the book are pictures that Greenfield has been taking since she started documenting wealth at her old high school in Santa Monica, Calif., in 1992. One image shows Tupac Shakur at a craps table in Las Vegas. Another, a Chinese billionaire's replica of the White House. “It’s not about Birkin bags or the Kardashians,” Greenfield says. “It’s about the culture that gave rise to them.”

SEI Used Brain Imaging to Improve Client Portal

 To improve the user experience of its consumer-facing wealth management portal, SEI is turning to brain imaging technology in concert with Drexel University’s behavioral science lab. Using technology developed by Drexel, researchers monitored behaviors, tracked eye movement and measured brain activity in the prefrontal cortex – the area of the brain responsible for complex behaviors like decision making – while participants navigated SEI’s platform. The study found that showing clients their wealth goals was the most engaging and efficient part of the user interface, and that the new platform was twice as efficient as SEI’s previous product. Drexel said it plans to use the case study in business courses to discuss behavioral finance, as well as in digital media marketing and market research classes. Rajneesh Suri, a professor and associate dean of research at Drexel’s LeBow College of Business, called the research comprehensive and novel. “This method goes beyond the traditional usability studies and applies tenets of neuroscience to an ergonomics examination of a financial website,” Suri added. “This approach to understanding consumers’ behavior leads to rich diagnostic information and greater confidence in actions taken by businesses.”

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