Bill Gross’s Investment Outlook

Bill Gross is a legend in the investing industry. He doesn’t work, though, in the more glamorous equity side of investing. Instead, he is a bond market investor, and has one of the best long term records in the business.

Gross also happens to be an outstanding writer. I envy his ability to say a lot with few words, and to explain complex financial concepts with amusing analogies.

For these reasons, his monthly Investment Outlook is a must read for me. As usual, his Investment Outlook for this month didn’t disappoint.

Gross takes to task the mortgage market, how it has performed and will perform in the future. His conclusion is that the fallout is not over, and that we’re just looking at the tip of the mortgage iceberg.

He believes this is the case because many adjustable rate loans made over the last several years have yet to reset, and when they do, many more homeowners will punt their houses back to the market.

He also indicates that these problems will be felt in the Mortgage Backed Security (MBS) and Collaterlized Debt Obligation (CDO) markets. This, along with legislative action, will tighten credit and limit the number of people who can get new loans.

His conclusion is that the housing market will takes years to work through it’s problems (tougher credit, high inventories of homes for sale, anchoring by home sellers), and that the Federal Reserve may soon cut rates in an attempt to limit such problems now that inflation is looking less threatening (according to their narrow metrics).

Am I planning on acting on this advice? I can’t say I am. Unlike a bond market guru with institutional clients who demand short term performance, I don’t need to forecast interest rates or try to guess what the housing market will do. But, I find his thinking very provocative, and it reinforces my desire to stay far away from companies that deal intimately with the housing or mortgage market.

Nothing in this blog should be considered investment, financial, tax, or legal advice. The opinions, estimates and projections contained herein are subject to change without notice. Information throughout this blog has been obtained from sources believed to be accurate and reliable, but such accuracy cannot be guaranteed.


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