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Ep 7 – Cybersecurity and Global Market Rebound 

Brian Nash

Vice President and Regional Director at Goldman Sachs

Ronald Muhammad

Vice President of Business Practices at Goldman Sachs

Welcome to Season 1, Episode 7 of Meet the Expert® with Elliot Kallen! 

In this episode, Elliot is bringing on Ronald Muhammad and Brian Nash to discuss cybersecurity in a digital world and a global market rebound.

Brian Nash, Vice President and Regional Director at Goldman Sachs, discusses what we see in the global equity markets—where we see concern, opportunity, and how to position as we move forward.

Equity markets have recovered more than 35 percent since the lows of March 23, 2020. This is clearly a significant balance. We’re only 8 percent below all-time-highs.

How did we get there? The fiscal plan of more than 4 trillion, and more than a trillion yet to come, is four times the size of the plan we got in 2008. The scale and scope of the government policy and U.S. Fed policy has definitely removed some of the downside risk to the market, and that was the initial recovery we saw. 

Every pandemic has proven to follow a trend of one or two quarters of serious economic slowdown before getting a pretty swift recovery. If we sit here and wait until Q4 and you’re not invested, what we know is that you’re going to miss all of these returns on the way up. This is a time when working with someone you trust, who understands your financial needs and goals is critical. You need a skilled stock picker who’s focused on the right types of businesses to own.

In 2018, out of the top 50 stocks, 78 percent of them came from outside of the United States. In 2019, 90 percent came from outside of the U.S. Of the last decade, only one year has had more than halfof the top 50 stocks come from the U.S. The fact that some of the best return drivers, at the single stock level, are coming out of the foreign markets indicates positive signals for building a global portfolio. That means leaning into high-quality growth company and having a foreign footprint.

Ronald Muhammad, Vice President of Business Practices at Goldman Sachs, gives us cybersecurity insights, including what we should know to protect ourselves, our family, and our friends.

We are completely online. Think of all the time we spend on our phones, on Netflix, on Amazon, and on social networks. Virtually every aspect of our lives has a digital alternative. Roughly 40 percent of new relationships start online. More than one million babies have been “made” by Match.com connections. You have the entire world in the palm of your hand.

That also means that anonymous online users are trying to steal your identity.

The first method is through phishing, or when those purporting to be reputable companies reach out to you to ask for critical information. If you’re getting an email asking for your Social Security number, reach out directly to that vendor to see whether that person is actually affiliated with said reputable company.

The second method is through scareware. Scareware plays on the psychological concepts of fear, greed, and our fight-or-flight tendencies by flashing warning pop-ups on your screen and exploiting your tendency to blindly click.

Another thing that’s less obvious is constantly being aware of your digital footprint. Ask yourself: Where am I leaving my information? Where is my information saved? What do I have to log into with an email and password? These are all “doors” into your “digital home” that you must lock appropriately.

A common question is, what is the Dark Web? First and foremost, the Dark Web is a place that you go to hide your identity and location. As such, it’s home to a lot of the bad and the ugly sites—the “eBays of contraband”—where you can make illegal purchases like drugs, weapons, and personal information. 

On the Dark Web, your personal information may be sold based on your account value or credit score. Moreover, visiting the Dark Web can expose you to very dangerous programs; Nionspy can capture keystrokes, steal documents, and record audio and video using the infected computer, and Viewtrack can be used to gain access to victims’ financial accounts.

So how can we really protect ourselves on the Internet?

Your email serves as the nucleus for your entire digital life. Everything flows through your email—account information, your calendar, your location, your password recovery—so it’s important to spend time making sure that the nucleus of your digital life is protected. Refresh your password on a consistent basis, and use a different password for every account, especially your primary email address. Consider using a password manager which allows you to come up with very unique, complex, and long passwords, and to store them in a safe place online.

In general, you should follow these general consumer safety best practices:

  • Shop with reputable vendors

  • Don’t provide unnecessary personal information

  • Only use credit cards or PayPal for online purchases—don’t use debit cards online

  • Shop from a protected personal computer

  • Look for “https” in the web address

  • Buy a cross-cut or confetti-cut paper shredder

  • Monitor your account statements and credit reports regularly

  • Opt out of receiving pre-approved credit card offers

  • Regularly review your credit report

  • Regularly change your wi-fi password

And to prevent your family from being doxxed, follow these best practices:

  • Review the concept of “doxxing” and discuss the negative consequences of online commenting

  • Reinforce the importance of strong passwords

  • Consider freezing the credit of children under the age of 16

  • Have an open dialogue about the benefits and risks of using technology

  • Disable location setting on apps (Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram)

  • Consider privacy screens to help reduce “shoulder surfing”

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Disclaimer:

Prosperity Financial Group and Meet the Expert® with Elliot Kallen do not make specific investment recommendations on Meet the Expert® with Elliot Kallen or in any public media. Any specific mentions of funds or investments are strictly for illustrative purposes only and should not be taken as investment advice or acted upon by individual investors. The opinions expressed in this episode are those of the Meet the Expert® with Elliot Kallen guests, and not necessarily of Elliot Kallen or Prosperity Financial Group.

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