Bill Gross has dumped all Treasuries from the world’s biggest mutual fund, Warren Buffett is shifting to shorter-term debt, and Swiss Reinsurance Co. is boosting equities and corporate bonds.Read the rest here.
Some of the biggest private investors in the bond market, from fund managers to insurers and pensions, are preparing for an end to the three-decade Treasury rally, as interest rates near zero and unprecedented spending by the U.S. government and the central bank threaten to fuel inflation. Their strategies range from reducing the longest-dated holdings and shifting to higher-yielding corporate debt, to investing in stocks, commodities, non-U.S. bonds and even holding cash.
“U.S. government bonds are not a safe haven,” Jim Rogers, the global investor who predicted the 2007-2009 housing-market crash, said in a telephone interview from Singapore. “I cannot conceive of lending money to the U.S. government for 30 years.”
Pacific Investment Management Co. said yesterday that Gross, who runs the $237 billion Pimco Total Return Fund, eliminated government-related debt from his flagship fund last month as the U.S. projected record budget deficits. Gross, who has overseen the expansion of Pimco into a $1.2 trillion bond shop over four decades, predicted a year ago that “bonds have seen their best days.” Last month, he said Treasuries may have to be “exorcised” from model portfolios.
The bonds, considered the safest and most liquid, have been an investment staple for generations. The U.S. is the world’s biggest debt issuer, with $14.2 trillion outstanding. Most of that is owned by U.S. government entities, foreign countries such as China and Japan, and investors including mutual funds, pension funds, insurers and banks.
When Bill Gross speaks of bonds, people listen.