Siegel Counters Grantham on Profit Margins, Zero Growth

Wharton Professor and author Jeremy Siegel was pretty accurate with his 2012 market call, and he thinks 2013 is going to be another solid year for stocks.

“We’re going up,” Siegel tells Robert Huebscher on Advisor Perspectives. “We could get another 15 to 20%. I’m on record saying that I think there is an overwhelming probability that we’re going to get Dow 15,000 by the end of next year, so if the current level is 13,180, that’s a 14% rise. There is a possibility — if we get some good work done on the entitlements, if we set the tax rates appropriately– with the housing recovery, it’s very possible to get 25% next year. That would certainly be a very-good-case scenario.”

Siegel says he thinks the market is pricing in some very bad scenarios involving the fiscal cliff, so even if a solution does result in tax increases, he still thinks the market will rise. He did say, however, that it would be “very disappointing” if dividend taxes rise to pre-Bush-tax-cut marginal rates.

Siegel also says that we are now seeing the “biggest bond bubble in history”, and he discusses why rising interest rates wouldn’t be a danger to stocks. And he says that he doesn’t think profit margins are artificially high, as GMO’s Jeremy Grantham has argued. Siegel says that profit margins are high for some good reasons, including the fact that more and more sales are coming from foreign countries and technology firms, both of which are higher-margin areas. Siegel also rejects Grantham’s claim that the U.S. is headed for a lengthy period of little to no economic growth.


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