As the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) continues to push higher and sentiment grows, the possibility of a pullback or a market top grows with it, and investors have to weigh chasing growth with looking for value. David Winters, founder and CEO of Wintergreen Advisers, is bullish on the US recovery (and the global recovery in general), but thinks that people should be looking to increase their exposure to emerging markets.
“Market sentiment often creates opportunities for value, and we think the value today is in companies that are busy looking for opportunities overseas,” David Winters said in a recent interview with WealthTrack.
David Winters is bullish on Asia, confident in global recovery
From his point of view, the US and Canada are out of the woods, and buying quality stocks in either country is a good place to find long-term investments. He isn’t interested in Europe because he thinks it will have slow growth over the next few years, and he doesn’t like the regulatory environment, but he doesn’t imagine it sliding into recession either. That leaves emerging markets as the best place to find growth.
“Asia, despite all the concerns, you got a couple billion people who want what we have, and they’re gonna work hard to get it,” says David Winters.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that David Winters is investing directly in Asia – he puts a premium on companies domiciled in countries with shareholder-friendly regulations – but he does want to gain some of the growth that he thinks is Asia’s inevitable long-term growth.
Annoyed with KO management, long on Nestle
David Winters recommends putting a priority on three criteria for stock selection, what he calls the trifecta: the company should have improving economics, a low valuation, and strong management that will return value to shareholders. This last point has put David Winters in the limelight recently, as he has started a campaign against The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO)’s proposed executive compensation plan that he says would shift $24 billion in stock from shareholders to management. Coca Cola stocks are slightly down over the last year, compared to a surging stock market that is up more than 20% even after a mild pullback in recent days.
In the interview, David Winters revealed that he is long Nestle SA (NSRGF), which he sees as a quality company that is being undervalued because of its EM exposure, which he is actively seeking. Since he’s confident that the market is looking at this the wrong way, David Winters is invested in long-dated call options to increase his potential returns.