Sneak a peek…Q & A with John Norris featured in this Sunday’s B’ham News

Does your background as an economist help in your job as director of wealth management at Oakworth Capital Bank?

You have to have an idea about where the economy is headed in order to properly invest money. If the economy is headed for recession, you want to load up on government debt and consumer staples. If the economy is poised for growth, corporate bonds and cyclical stocks make more sense. If the economy is doing next to nothing, you need to set reasonable expectations with your clients and find those sectors and companies which have a particular niche which should perform well.

Basically, if you don’t know where you are, you won’t know where you are going. As such, delving into the numbers the way I do helps me to know where we are, and allows me to plan accordingly.   

What must be done to turn around Alabama’s economy?

There are a lot of things we can, could or should be doing better. However, you have to crawl before you walk.

So, we need to ask ourselves a simple question: “Are we satisfied always being lumped in with Mississippi, Arkansas, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Louisiana?” If so, let’s keep on doing what we are doing, and don’t expect to much out of ourselves or our leaders. Life is good. If not, let’s find some leadership that is tired of being at the bottom of the pack, and come up with a plan to get out of it. It isn’t going to happen overnight, but it also isn’t going to happen, ever, if WE don’t demand it and make it happen. 

Please see this weekend’s Birmingham News Sunday edition for full article or go to to read online.