Gross: Anything but .01%
Bill Gross, co-founder and co-CIO of PIMCO, is to my mind one of the shrewdest money men around. His monthly newsletter, this month entitled “Anything but .01%”, therefore always makes for thought-provoking reading.
The following are a few excerpts from the report:
“Almost all money market accounts – totaling over $4 trillion dollars, yield close to nothing, so close to nothing that I mistakenly did a double take when reviewing my monthly portfolio statement. “Yield on cash”, read the buried line on page 15 of the report, “.01%”.
“Well now, I say to myself, this is very interesting from a number of different angles. If I was hoping to double my money, it would take approximately 6,932 years to get there at that rate! Secondly, being a savvy professional investor and all, I knew that money market funds actually earned 20 basis points or so on my money, but in this case were allocating a paltry one basis point to me.
“Let me tell you what I’m doing. I figure, why not just buy utilities if that’s what the future American capitalistic model is likely to resemble. Pricewise, they’re only halfway between their 2007 peaks and 2008 lows – 25% off the top, 25% from the bottom. Their growth in earnings should mimic the U.S. economy as they always have, and most importantly they yield 5-6% not .01%! In a low growth environment, it seems to me that a company’s stock should yield more than its less risky debt, and many utilities provide just that opportunity. Utilities and even quasi-utility telecommunication companies now yield between 5 and 6%, whereas their 10- and 30-year bond yield less and at a higher tax rate to you the investor.
“Look at your monthly statement, zero in on that .01% yield and say to yourself, “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m just not going to take this anymore!” You can’t buy the Burlington Northern – Warren Buffett has scooped that up – and most other choices offer tempting returns, but potential bullets as well. Buy some utilities. It may not be as much fun as running a railroad, but at least you’ll know who to call if the lights go out.”
Click here for the full article.
Source: Bill Gross, PIMCO – Investment Outlook, December 2009.
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