Yesterday a host of boldfaced investor names talked up their latest ideas at the Ira Sohn conference.
It doesn’t sound as though there were any huge bombshells, though David Einhorn’s announcement that he is short Moody’s (MCO) and McGraw-Hill (MHP) has generated some headlines (though to be honest, we hadn’t realised that was actually news).
Presenting a bullish case was Jeremy Grantham of GMO, who loves blue-chip stocks right now.
Here are the notes of Mike O’Rourke of BTIG:
IN GMO’s 7 year forecast U.S. High quality names are aberrantly cheap and should provide 7.6% real return per year. In constructing a portfolio Grantham said it should be 40% U.S. Blue Chips, 20% Emerging Markets and 30% EAFE Blue chips. Grantham notes that bonds are “grotesquely” overpriced predicted to post a real return 1.7% per year. Grantham’s 3 choices or recommendations are Timber which has 7.5% forecasted real annual return. Then Grantham likes Emerging Markets which he believes will go to a premium P/E to the rest of the world. Finally he likes high quality U.S. blue chaps. They are trading at a 17% discount to fair value and 55% of earnings come from around the world.
The bedrock of Grantham’s thinking is that “Things regress to the mean.” Of the 34 bubbles GMO has identified it takes about 3.5 years for the bubble to run up and it comes back down to the trendline nearly as quickly. All bubbles reverse. Grantham believes both the U.K. and Australia are in housing bubbles. The risks to betting against bubbles are career risk and business risk. Grantham believes debt has nothing to do with growth, and debt has less influence than most think. Grantham concluded by noting the importance of the upward bias in the third year of the presidential cycle.
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