“This is the weakest recovery since the Great Depression.”

With that statement as the backdrop, financial experts shared their insights at the 2013 Investment Outlook, “Where are We? Where Are We Going?”—a luncheon panel discussion on Feb. 20 that was hosted by the UCF Foundation Investment Committee and sponsored by SunTrust. The event, part of the committee’s 2013 Speaker Series, was held at the University Club in downtown Orlando.

Moderator Sean Snaith, director of UCF’s Institute for Economic Competitiveness, described the slow recovery, citing political, global and legislative uncertainty. He predicted 1.9 percent growth in 2013, noting, “A lot of damage needs to be undone.”

Snaith then turned to panelists Randy Anderson, L. Earl Denney and Regina Chi, who offered their views on a variety of economic and investment-related topics, ranging from job growth, consumer debt and real estate to the stock market, Europe and federal spending.

Among his comments, Anderson, a professor in the UCF Department of Finance and chair of the Dr. P. Phillips School of Real Estate, stated, “We will not have interest rates go up. If you have 1.5 percent wage growth and you have an 8.5 unemployment rate, that is not a period when I think rates can go up.”

Earl, founder of Integrity Fixed Income Management in Orlando, detailed the troubles behind mounting consumer debt as part of his message. “One of the things that I really believe is the process that we’re going through is very much related to debt,” he said. “We created way too much debt over the years. And now we’ve got to pay it down, which is creating a huge drag [economically].”

Chi, head of International, Emerging Market and Global Equities with DePrince, Race & Zollo Inc., an institutional asset management firm in Winter Park, summarized the overseas financial crisis this way: “The sovereign debt crisis in Europe has been contained but nowhere near resolved. We need to see progress on a Banking Union in Europe, but politicians have been reluctant to move forward on this. So, I believe there will be another flare-up in Southern Europe sometime this year, which will revive Banking Union discussions.”