Sunday, July 05, 2009

Wealthtrack for July 5th 2009

This week Wealthtrack's Consuelo Mack had a sit-down with PIMCO's co-CIO Bill Gross. This was part of a new series of interviews with great investors. It was an interesting episode where Consuelo Mack pointed out some of the clear and present dangers for the United States of America:

1. An increasing reluctance on the part of large foreign nations to take on more treasury debt due to the lack of good real returns and the lack of strong returns on the US investments.

2. Increasing debt levels of the United States being rather sticky since the only way to really combat them is to re-inflate the economy and then pay down the debts with cheaper dollars.

Interestingly, Bill was asked the question whether or not there were any investments that he was excited about long term and he answered with a resounding "No." When the conversation drifted into why that was the case, it seemed that the "mean" return for investments long term would be in the 6-8 percent/5-7 percent range.

But on the other hand, it seems that there are other options for investors who are still seeking double digit returns, according to Gross. He pointed out that with his own personal money (and for his "poor" relatives) he'd recommend bank preferred stocks and closed end funds (some of which are managed by PIMCO and invest in corporate debt). These would offer double digit returns.

As always, I found that this was particularly interesting because it points out something that I've personally wondered about for a long time: does it make sense to hold large amounts of government backed debt or even government backed savings? I have an interesting take on this, so consider whether or not you have the correct level of savings. I'll talk about this more in an upcoming post.

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