Thursday, November 11, 2010

Jeremy Grantham: Be in Cash, Wait for Stocks to Fall

Thursday November 12 2010, Jeremy Grantham told CNBC, extracts below:

Investors should be mostly in cash, which gives them security as well as the option to take advantage of other investments if prices fall.

“Cash has a virtue that people don’t appreciate fully, and that is its 'optionality'.”

“If anything crashes and burns in value—say the US stock market—if you have no resources, it doesn’t help you. If the bond market crashes, and you have no resources, it doesn’t help you. What cash is is an available resource."

Grantham thinks stocks are overpriced, so being in cash now gives investors the chance to enter the market later.

“It buys you the right to buy the US market if the S&P drops from 1,220 today to 900, which is what we think is fair.”

Grantham also recommended investing in such commodities as oil and copper for the long term of 10 to 20 years. For institutional investors, Grantham said a good mix is to be overweight in franchise companies, modestly overweight in emerging markets, underweight in everything else, plus a lot of cash and “patience.”

Grantham, a strong critic of the Federal Reserve, thinks the central bank should stick to controlling the money flow. He’s against its stimulus efforts, including its recent announcement to try and boost the economy through $600 billion in quantitative easing (QE).

“The Fed has spent most of the last 15, 20 years manipulating the stock market, whenever they feel the economy needs a bit of a kick,” he added. “I think they know very well that what they do has no direct affect.”

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