US stocks are overheated; so Marc Faber is buying Asian shares, and gold

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August 03, 2017 11:39 AM

Marc Faber reveals his asset allocation strategy to tide over the risks posed by the US equity markets.

“Don’t be overly optimistic,” cautions Marc Faber aka Dr Doom. (Image: Reuters)

Marc Faber’s disenchantment with equity shares, especially US stocks, is well-known. However, it is not very often that the 80-year old veteran gives others an insight into his portfolio. Often referred to as Dr Doom, renowned investor Marc Faber — the author of Gloom, Boom & Doom report — said this week that he has allocated only a quarter of his portfolio to equities, and that too, mainly in Asia. The remaining three-fourths of Marc Faber’s money is mainly divided between real estate, precious metal and gold shares.

The reason is simple: Marc Faber is not a believer in the rally in the US stock markets, and seems to be openly opposed to the US President Donald Trump’s ideas! “Don’t be overly optimistic,” Marc Faber said in an interview to CNBC television earlier this week. Just before that, Donald Trump had tweeted: “Highest Stock Market EVER, best economic numbers in years, unemployment lowest in 17 years, wages raising, border secure, S.C.: No WH chaos!”

However, Marc Faber, as usual, was unimpressed. “If you look at the markets, there are lots of stocks that are lower, and significantly lower than they were at the highs. And so, it’s not an all-clear signal,” he said, adding that the risks have increased. Marc Faber pointed out to huge disparity between the returns in gold and gold ETF index. While the S&P index is up 23% since January 2016, gold has returned 20% in the same period. Meanwhile, the GDX, the Gold ETF index, is up by 80% since January 2016, indicating that the markets are very distorted and investors are in a very artificial environment, he said.

To counter this, as alternatives to US stocks, the perennially bearish investor invests in “very simple” areas of investment involving real estate, overseas equities and commodities. “I don’t change that asset location a lot, but I am aware that there is a risk because if equities go down, then obviously all my bonds will likely go down,” Marc Faber said.

He revealed that he allocates 25% of his portfolio in real estate, mostly in the Asian markets, adding that he has also taken exposure in precious metal and gold shares. In the same breath, Marc Faber added that the financials in Europe look reasonably attractive.

Earlier last month, Marc Faber, who seldom minces words, reinforced his preference for investing in India over the US on the back of a strong government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Not only this he also described the US government as “corrupt like hell”, adding to his list of strong phrases to refer to the western administration. Earlier this year, he had used the phrase “rotten western democracies” while citing his preference to invest in India over the US markets.

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