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The world's largest money manager says now is the time to buy stocks

FILE PHOTO: A sign for BlackRock Inc hangs above their building in New York U.S., July 16, 2018. To match Special Report USA-FUNDS/INDEX  REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
  • BlackRock said now is the time to sell government bonds and buy risky assets like stocks and emerging market debt, according to a blog post published Tuesday.
  • The asset manager said policy actions in response to the coronavirus pandemic should cushion the impact of the virus shock and help mitigate permanent damage to growth fundamentals.
  • Despite the substantial rally in equities in recent weeks, BlackRock says the price declines still imply significant expected returns compared to US government debt.
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BlackRock said now is the time for long-term investors to sell government bonds and buy risky assets like stocks and emerging market debt, according to a blog post published on Tuesday.
The world's largest asset manager, which has $6.5 trillion in assets under management as of March 31, thinks the policy actions in response to the coronavirus pandemic should cushion the impact of the virus shock and help mitigate permanent damage to growth fundamentals.
"Given successful policy execution throughout the shock, the cumulative impact would be well below that seen after the 2008 global financial crisis."
The rally in bonds and sell-off in stocks since the coronavirus pandemic hit has created an opportune time to strategically rebalance portfolios by selling bonds and buying equities, according to BlackRock.
This echoes one of six reasons why JPMorgan is bullish on stocks right now.
Read more: A fund manager trouncing 90% of his rivals shared with us 5 trades he's making to stay ahead - including a big bet on Disney after it was crushed in the pandemic sell-off
As investors traditionally view bonds in their portfolio as a ballast to help limit drawdowns in times of heightened market volatility, that defensive quality of US government debt is not as strong as it used to be.
"Falling yields have lowered their expected returns and reduced their ballast properties ... their ability to act as portfolio ballasts during risk-off events is less than in the past," BlackRock said.
The firm updated its estimated change in five-year price returns for various asset classes following the coronavirus-induced market sell off.
At the top of the list is Emerging Market debt and equities, followed by Developed Market equities. US Treasuries and US TIPS round out the bottom of the list.
Blackrock expected returns.JPG
"All else equal, a selloff in an asset class makes it more attractive through a valuation lens, mechanically increasing our expected returns for it in the coming five years," BlackRock explained.
Despite BlackRock's bullish outlook on risky assets, the firm does see reason for caution in the near term.
"Risks such as higher defaults, particularly in the high yield market, cannot be ignored," the firm wrote. "Over the next 6 to 12 months, we favor credit over equities given bondholders' preferential claim on corporate cash flows and prefer an up-in-quality stance in equities."
On a tactical basis, BlackRock is neutral on government bonds, as it sees risks of providing less downside protection in future risk-off environments and thinks a snap-back in yields is likely from historically low levels.
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* This article was originally published here Press Release Distribution
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