Jeffrey Gundlach's presentations always cover a lot of ground, and his presentation at Wednesday's Sohn Investment Conference in New York was no exception. In a piece spanning roughly 20 minutes, the founder of DoubleLine Capital covered negative interest rates, a long-short investment pairing and what he believes is an inevitable Donald Trump presidency.
Ever the art enthusiast, Gundlach opened his presentation by featuring the work of British Op artist Bridget Riley. Her work has a disorienting effect, similar to that of seasickness, which makes one wonder why anyone would gaze upon it, Gundlach says. And with that image in mind, he delved into attacking negative interest rates.
There are $7.8 trillion in negative-yielding bonds outstanding, which has turned central bankers into Bridget Rileys, Gundlach says.
Despite the rates, which are supposed to spur the economy, Japan's stock market is falling apart, and economic growth isn't happening either.
"Trying to fight deflation with deflation is like saving a burning house by pouring gasoline onto it," Gundlach says.
On the heels of that sobering thought, the hedge fund manager delved into his main investment idea: shorting the utilities index, while going long on mortgage REITs, as the former has a higher price-to-earnings ratio than the latter. Also, the dividend yield on REITs is more advantageous, according to Gundlach's analysis. He also refuted the common belief that utilities are a safe bet by sharing a chart that tracked volatile returns over the past roughly 20 years.
Lastly, Gundlach got to the heart of an issue weighing on Americans' minds following the Indiana primary: the increasing likelihood of a Trump presidency.
"Prepare for a Trump presidency," he says, noting that the Republican candidate has not shown restraint in attacking opponents, and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton provides a bottomless well of material for Trump.
If there is one bright side to a Trump presidency, the noted bond investor made a point that Trump has proven in his business dealings that he is not adverse to debt, and many of his presidential policies will surely involve debt.
See full coverage from the Sohn Investment Conference here. The event brings together some of the top minds in the financial world for a day of sharing investment ideas. It is held in honor of Ira Sohn, a Wall Street professional who lost his battle with cancer when he was 29. Proceeds from the New York conference, as well as other conferences the Sohn Conference Foundation holds, are dedicated to the treatment and cure of pediatric cancer and other childhood diseases. The foundation has so far raised more than $65 million.