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Every year LPL Financial has a conference called “Focus”.  It is designed to bring advisors together for a time of learning, networking, and opportunity to hear some amazing speakers. The 2018 conference was just held in Boston and Tuesday’s keynote speaker was Former British Prime Minister, David Cameron.

David is the UK’s youngest Prime Minister in two centuries. The topic of his session was his perspective on the future of the European Union and Britain’s place in the world following Brexit. He provided his unique insight on the rise of populist politicians and parties at a time of profound global change.

Here are my takeaways on what he had to say:

The extremes of opinions are what is resonating today.

He shared that he turned on Fox news and all was swell.  He then watched CNN and found out the country is in the doldrums.  He had to view 5 different channels just to find out what might actually be happening.  Isn’t that the truth!

Populism is trending around the world.  

He reminded us not to despair at its rise, but to work to find out the root causes and how to deal with it.

What is the road out, you ask? Why, free markets of course!  

Market economies by and large work, but not necessarily for everyone.  A rising tide has not lifted all boats. One suggestion he had was to make sure workers were getting the skills they need. The best way to do this was by investing in job/trades training.  This will allow the economies to have skilled workers when they need them.

Live within their means and pay their debts to the world.

This was his key suggestion for how countries can work to beat populism. I think these are also words we can all use to build our savings, the honest way.

On the current American President.  

He thinks going after countries to eliminate trade deficits is foolish.  Trade wars via protectionism will lead to high unemployment, as it did in the 1930’s.  He did say though, that if the current talk and trade actions taken this summer are a tactic to bring trading partners together for meaningful negotiations on trade, then that may work out well.  However, if these actions are being taken to lead to prolonged protectionism then look out below. He believes we need strong leadership from America, and that Trump is right when he says a “strong American economy is good for the world.”

His greatest accomplishment in his 6-year tenure.

Approving and passing a same-sex marriage bill to make it lawful to marry whomever you want.  He was adamant that nothing could be better than two people entering into the covenant of marriage to love and support each other.  Although it was controversial at the time, no one talks much about it now.

I really had a good time at Focus2018 and look forward to going back to see what next year has in store.  If you wish to talk about any of the topics discussed above further feel free to reach out and contact our office to see how we can help.


Kevin Stoddard is a LPL Financial Advisor with Stoddard Financial in Quincy, Massachusetts. Stoddard helps clients throughout New England to identify, plan, and execute strategies designed for securing their desired financial future. With their Financial Wellness @ Work program, they engage, educate, and empower employees by helping them to understand and appreciate the value of their benefits package. You can find Kevin at or contact him at

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.