Jeff Gundlach, founder and CIO of Doubline Capital, has released his predictions for this year, the year he’s calling “the Year of the Snake.” Among his predictions so far this year, his belief is that there isn’t a bond bubble this year. He also has a very downbeat outlook on the U.S. economy, according to Advisor Perspectives, which published a complete summary of Gundlach’s predictions for 2013. Here are the highlights.
Gundlach notes that investors who took risks did well in 2012 because sectors that tend to be fairly risky did well. Also, the Fed and central banks took steps to dampen volatility in the markets. However, Gundlach said investors should beware of volatility this year because he expects 2013’s markets to look more similar to 2011’s markets. That’s when safer investments were the better performers.
On the U.S. economy in general, Gundlach said government spending cuts at all levels, plus increases in taxes, will slow economy growth. He believes that the debate over the debt ceiling will be bigger “uglier” than the arguments over the fiscal cliff.
Gundlach also sees trouble ahead for the equities market. He said that there’s a poor risk-reward tradeoff on U.S. equities right now, even adding that investors will likely lose by investing in equities than they will in intermediate-duration bond funds. Before he will call U.S. stocks attractive, he would like to see prices fall.
On the other hand, Gundlach seems to prefer Chinese and Japanese stocks this year. He noted that Japanese stocks have rallied 26 percent since they hit rock bottom. Last month he said he was highly convicted on Japanese stocks for long-term investments. He said this year it isn’t a bad idea to go long on the Japanese market and go short on the S&P 500.
Gundlach also expects “a big move in gold” this year. He said it’s unlikely that gold will continue the sideways move it has had over the last 14 months, so he expects it to be volatile in 2013.