Tilson & Heins Say Financial Sector Troubles Will Linger ...

In their “Discovering Value” column in Kiplinger’s, Whitney Tilson and John Heins say they think the strong recent market rebound is overdone, because we’re not out of the financial sector woods yet. “We think the financial system has many years of significantly higher than normal losses to work through,” the duo writes. “As the greatest bubble in history deflates, it will continue to affect the economy, corporate earnings and the stock market.”

Heins and Tilson say in their column (which is not yet available online) that the risk of a pullback is high if things don’t improve relatively quickly. Stocks of companies whose futures are closely tied to an economic revival are in particular getting much riskier given the rising stock prices. “Our response to sizzling stock prices has been to shift somewhat from offense to defense,” they write, saying they’ve trimmed positions in cyclical firms whose stocks have recently jumped. They’ve added stocks of high-quality companies in less economically sensitive businesses whose stocks have struggled. American Express and Wells Fargo are among the stocks they’re cutting back on, while Pfizer is one stock they’re bullish on.

“The uncertainty of the times suggests the market’s mood swings are likely to be frequent and pronounced over the coming year,” Tilson and Heins write. “That should create opportunities for investors who are able to maintain a more even keel.”

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