A Conversation with Nuveen’s Bob Doll

Making predictions can be pretty dicey business in general, but particularly when it comes to matters of the economy. A recent Investment News article recapped an interview with 36-year veteran portfolio manager Bob Doll (chief equity strategist at Nuveen Asset Management) that focused on his predictions for the year and his general economic outlook.

While Doll hit the mark with his forecast on stocks beating bonds, he admits to making the wrong call on sector performance. “We had a rally in energy and materials off the low, and the financials have yet again disappointed. I thought we had bottomed and banks would do better.” Regarding the presidential campaign, he quipped, “Like many, I expected Donald Trump to fade. You know the rest of the story.”

When asked which of his three four-star-rated (by Morningstar) Nuveen funds is his “favorite”, Doll responded, “give me plain vanilla” in reference to the large-cap core fund (which has beaten the firm’s index fund). “Active managers can win,” he says, “and if you add it to my long-term record prior to Nuveen, I’ve beaten the market most of the time and over time, but not all the time.” On bond yields, Doll believes that low and negative rates around the world are a culprit. “If borders were closed for financial flows,” he asserts, “10-year Treasuries would be at 2.5%.” Doll’s prognosis: “I think stocks will beat bonds, but bonds are going to lose money.”