As political uncertainties “cloud an otherwise solid economic outlook,” Loomis Sayles vice chairman Dan Fuss says he is more cautious on bonds than he has been since the 1970s, says a recent CNBC article.
In a Reuters interview from earlier this month, the octogenarian (and one of the world’s longest serving fund managers) says he has cut the average maturity of holdings in the firm’s flagship bond fund to 6 ½ years. Sometimes called “the Warren Buffett of bonds,” Fuss argues that, besides rising political risk, trade factors are cause for concern. “For instance,” he says, “if U.S. policy becomes unfriendly to Mexico, then the U.S. economy will have a huge problem.”
While bond prices dropped last year on expectations that the Trump administration would implement tax cuts, deregulation and infrastructure spending, the Fed’s interest rate hikes [an additional hike has been announced since the interview] have pushed up short-term U.S. government debt yields to new highs.
“Earlier,” says Fuss, “I didn’t think there will be three hikes this year but now it looks likely.”