NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Despite the volatility seen in recent months, the bull market still has room left for growth, according to Scott Minerd, chairman of investments and global chief investment officer of Guggenheim Partners, an investment firm that manages $220 billion in assets.
"History shows us that in the period leading up to Fed tightening ... we often get returns in excess of 10%, sometimes 20%," he said. "Layer into that, 2016 is an election year and election years are notoriously good for stocks." Overall, Minerd figures there's a good chance stocks could increase 15% to 20% by the summer of 2016.
Higher stock prices come with a cost, however -- volatility. Minerd attributes much of the recent market swings to the uncertainty over when the Federal Reserve will undertake its first rate hike since 2006.
"I think volatility is here to stay in terms of the market trying to come to grips with when the Fed is going to move."
Minerd expects the central bank to push rates higher in September, after previously maintaining a 2016 timeline for an increase. But interest rates have remained near zero for more than six years, and waiting too long to hike rates could strengthen critics' arguments that rates have been too low for too long. "I think the Fed will take preemptive action so that it can't be accused later of falling behind the curve," Minerd added.
Aside from the Fed, investors face jitters over what's expected to be a disappointing first quarter earnings season, with estimates down 4.6% year over year, according to FactSet.
But that doesn't faze Minerd.
"When you look at periods of l ow inflation, the average multiple for stocks has been 20x earnings, so we have a fair amount of room to get some multiple expansion," he said. "I'm not surprised, given the dollar's strength, to see earnings coming under pressure and I would expect that to continue as long as the dollar keeps strengthening, but the dollar won't strengthen forever."
Minerd expects earnings growth to accelerate once the dollar's rally stabilizes.
Going forward, he prefers international stocks over domestic ones, given how beneficial quantitative easing, which has just begun in Europe, is for stocks.
"While I'm bullish on U.S. equities, if I was going to allocate in the U.S., the two places that look most interesting to me are banks and the energy stocks," he said. "It's a little too early to jump into energy, but there are some pretty attractive stocks paying high dividends over a 3-5 year horizon."