This week 32 members were in attendance, along with four guests.  Chad Fitzloff, a financial adviser from Evanston was the guest of Bernie Michna.  Two corporate membership guests were Richard Greenswag representing the WN Chamber of Commerce and Tim Sloth, Village of Winnetka Finance Director, representing the Village.  David Birkenstein’s guest was Bob Leopold, a retiree who plays in Keith Reed’s band and has become an accomplished artist in retirement.  He explained the nature of his art – he does impressionistic paintings of nature, using acrylic paint.  Bob has a studio/gallery on Waukegan Road in Glenview. 
Kristen Leahy announced that the Winnetka Youth Organization’s annual benefit would be held on June 2nd at the Happ Inn at 7:00 p.m.  Tickets are $90 or $160 per couple.  She invited all Rotarians to come to support the WYO.  Patti Van Cleave also announced our Club’s benefit, “A Night at the Cabaret,” would be held on May 13th at the Michigan Shores Club in Wilmette.  Since the benefit is just around the corner it is important to RSVP and get your tickets.  Tickets are $175 per couple and $90 for singles.  If members are unable to attend a generous contribution to the Club’s Charitable Foundation would be in order.  The Benefit is the main funding source for the grants annually given out to various agencies in our area.  Patti also announced that the annual installation dinner would take place on July 7.  There will be no lunch meeting that day.  John Thomas will be thanked for his year of service and he will hand the gavel over to the new president, Patti Van Cleave.
Happy Buck$ yielded over $170 as Fred Schwimmer was grateful for his 79 years of living in Winnetka; Bob Baker donated a dollar for each mile his son completed in the Boston Marathon-all 26.2 miles (the proud father mentioned that his son had the best time of 50 North Shore participants); Patti Van Cleave for the fact that she sold her tickets to a Cubs game and missed a rainout; Randy Reeves in celebration for his one-month sabbatical he earned for his twenty years at Charles Schwab; and Ned Meisner was happy to be invited to the Bahá'í International Convention.
Randy Reeves introduced the day’s speaker, Spencer Logan, from Windhaven Investment Management.  Mr. Logan has been involved in financial research for many years.  His job is to provide up-to-date research and analytical support for Charles Schwab’s representatives and their clients.  Three areas that he considers are diversity, dynamic asset allocation and downside risk management.  He presented a chart that showed how various asset classes ranked in performance for a period of 15 years.  As each class was color-coded it was easy to see that some classes that were top performers in some years where at the bottom in other years.  He told how he analyzes that information to make predictions about the future and manage risk for an investor.  He also talked about how the U.S. Fed strategy is diverging from the central banks of Europe, Japan and China as the U.S. will likely continue to tighten monetary policy as the other major economies will continue to implement reflationary policies.  Mr. Logan believes that the near-term U.S. economic outlook is solid.  The Europeans and Asians are moving toward negative interest rates and he believes that is stifling their economies.  Usually all major economies have in the past tended toward more synchronization in the approach to their tight or loose handling of their currencies.  He is convinced that banks need to be encouraged to get more of their money out in the form of loans, which stimulates spending, which in turn stimulates the economy.  We will see more economic growth when we see more or at least some wage inflation.
Mr. Logan expressed some cautious optimism for the future and stated that our economy is not as bad as some people would like us to believe.