July 18, 2014

Bob Doll, Chief Equity Strategist and Senior Portfolio Manager at Nuveen Asset Management, has run several large cap stock mutual funds for three decades. We’ll get a personal take on his mid-year predictions for investment opportunities, and traps to avoid.

CONSUELO MACK: This week on WealthTrack, Nuveen Asset Management’s widely followed market oracle Bob Doll consults his sources of financial wisdom to conjure up a market view and build multiple mutual fund portfolios. Great Investor Bob Doll is next on Consuelo Mack WealthTrack.

Hello and welcome to this edition of WealthTrack, I’m Consuelo Mack. Indexing and quantitative investment pioneer Dean LeBaron once said that “Forecasts can be injurious to your wealth”. The late legendary financial historian Peter Bernstein insisted “the future is unknowable, the future is unknowable, the future is unknowable” several times on WealthTrack. But that doesn’t mean that we won’t or shouldn’t try to figure out what might happen of that the exercise isn’t helpful to the investment process. This week’s WealthTrack guest has made a name for himself with his annual predictions and with his investment skill running several large cap stock mutual funds for three decades.

He is Robert Doll, an original member of the WealthTrack brain trust who is now the Chief Equity Strategist and Senior Portfolio Manager at Nuveen Asset Management. Previously he was the Chief Equity Strategist at BlackRock, and the Chief Investment Officer at Merrill Lynch Investment Managers, as well as its President. In addition to writing his widely followed weekly commentaries and annual market predictions he has been the portfolio manager of several leading large cap mutual funds throughout, a job he resumed last year at Nuveen. His Nuveen Large Cap Value, Growth and Core Funds have all outperformed the market and their peers in the year he has been running them. Doll recently reviewed the status of his ten 2014 annual predictions.

Here’s a quick mid-year update on most of them.
–His forecast of 3% economic growth is still a dream, not a reality, but he is looking better on housing improving and hit it on the nail with private employment setting an all-time high.
–10-year treasury yields have not moved up toward 3.5%. They have remained under 3%.
–U.S. equities are having a good year so far, although we have yet to see Doll’s 10% correction.
–Cyclical stocks have not outperformed defensive ones- the opposite has happened.
–Dividends, stock buybacks and merger and acquisitions have definitely taken off, corporate capital spending has not.
–The dollar hasn’t appreciated much this year but U.S. energy production and manufacturing are booming.
–Contrary to his expectation that gold would fall and commodities would languish, they have appreciated.
–Municipal bonds have outperformed taxable bonds by a wide margin.
–The jury is still out on whether active funds will outperform index funds. So far the performance is

We will have to wait until November to gauge Doll’s prediction that the Republicans increase their lead in the house but fall short of capturing the Senate. I began the interview by asking him which of his current market predictions matter most to investors.

BOB DOLL: Given that I’m an equity guy, Consuelo, I start with the one, stocks have a good year. I think that’s the one that’s most important, and year-to-date so far, so good. In fact, stocks have probably done better than most people thought on January 1st.

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