Bond king Bill Gross enjoys a good sneeze.
The Chief Investment Officer of Pimco (PTTRX), which has nearly $2 trillion in assets under management, writes fondly of this bodily function in his latest investment outlook, which is titled "Achoo!"
Gross says the explosion of air from his nose is "sort of half erotic," though he admits that "there can be an embarrassing aftermath."
In more civilized times, people used to carry something called a handkerchief, but alas those days are done, Gross laments.
While he seems troubled by the lack of hankie use in modern-day sneezing, Gross does not believe it's necessary to hand out blessings in response.
Gross states flatly that he does not say "God bless you" or "bless you" when someone sneezes, even if that someone is his wife. This creates an "awkward" situation when both Gross and his wife, Sue, sneeze at the same time.
"I get blessed and she doesn't," he writes. "Not quite fair I suppose, so sometimes I play along and squeeze her hand after the Achoo and tell her I'm blessed to have her – sneeze or no sneeze."
So what does all this sneezing have to do with investments and money?
If the Federal Reserve hikes interest rates too soon, the global economy could catch another cold, he warns.
Interest rates need to remain low, he argues, so that "debtors can survive." It would also make government debt less of a concern.
Gross acknowledges that determining the right policy on interest rates (Gross dubs it a "neutral policy") is not an easy task for Fed chair Janet Yellen or any other central banker to achieve.
But he says focusing on what the neutral rate might be is "the critical key to unlocking value in all asset markets."
Gross believes a neutral interest rate will ultimately be closer to 2%, compared with the 4% rate that Fed officials have targeted in the past.
If that's the case, Gross says stocks and real estate investments will be more attractive than cash. It would also mean that "current fears of asset bubbles would be unfounded."
The bad news is that a 2% rate means that overall investment returns will be lower than in the past. People might have to re-think those 8% returns used in so many retirement and other forecasts.
To survive in this new environment, Gross says investors need to venture out of their comfort zone and take risks they normally wouldn't consider, including putting money into alternative assets, hedge funds and "a higher proportion of stocks vs. bonds in a personal portfolio."
If this outlook makes you feel ill, fear not. Gross and the Pimco team are there to hold your hand. "If you sneeze, we'll just squeeze your hand and tell you we are blessed to have you."
What do cats and bonds have in common?
Not much, but that doesn't stop Bill Gross from dedicating his latest monthly investment outlook to his recently deceased feline companion.
The letter is titled "Bob," in honor of the Gross family's Maine Coon "Kitty," which passed away last week.
By the way, Gross is the chief investment officer at Pimco, the world's largest bond fund, which has nearly $2 trillion in assets under management.
Granted, MOREBen Rooney - Apr 3, 2014 5:38 PM ET
Pimco's corporate culture has suffered since the giant bond fund lost one of its top leaders, according to a report issued Tuesday.
Morningstar, an influential investment research firm in Chicago, said that the resignation of CEO Mohamed El-Erian in January raised "a higher degree of uncertainty" about the world's largest bond manager.
Morningstar did not change the ratings on any of Pimco's funds though. Morningstar rates funds via stars and they are MOREBen Rooney - Mar 18, 2014 3:44 PM ET
Leave it to Bill Gross to use the falcon and the falconer from William Butler Yeats' "The Second Coming" to describe investors and central bankers.
In his latest monthly investment outlook, Pimco's founder and chief investment officer used the first three lines of the 1919 poem to introduce how his firm's investment process works.
"Yeats describes a falcon, which in this metaphorical context should be assumed to be the investors, 'turning and turning in MOREHibah Yousuf - Mar 4, 2014 11:38 AM ET
Is the bond king a dictator?
Bill Gross, co-founder of Pimco and manager of the world's biggest bond fund (PTTRX) became the subject of a scathing article on the front page of the Wall Street Journal Tuesday.
The 69-year-old billionaire investor is known for being praised by the media as one of the most influential players on Wall Street, with investors around the world listening for his views on financial markets and the economy. MOREHibah Yousuf - Feb 25, 2014 3:29 PM ET
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Paul R. La Monica. Other than Time Warner, the parent of CNNMoney, Abbott Laboratories and AbbVie, La Monica does not own positions in any individual stocks.
Bill Gross, the so-called Bond King, is still very worried about what's going to happen to the financial markets once the Federal Reserve begins to slow down the pace of its asset buying program.
Gross, a MOREPaul R. La Monica - Sep 5, 2013 1:19 PM ET
Bond guru Bill Gross is wondering how investors will fare if the current economic recovery gets derailed.
"All of us, even the old guys like Buffett, Soros, Fuss, yeah -- me too, have cut our teeth during perhaps a most advantageous period of time, the most attractive epoch that an investor could experience," Gross, the founder and co-chief investment officer of Pimco, wrote in his monthly investor letter.
"What if a future epoch favors MOREMaureen Farrell - Apr 3, 2013 11:23 AM ET
Get used to lower returns on stocks and bonds, Pimco's founder and co-chief investment officer Bill Gross told investors in his monthly letter.
Gross, who oversees Pimco's Total Return Fund (PTTRX), said that investors are entering a period of what he calls "rational temperance." By that Gross means that investors should expect gains from stocks, and corporate and high-yield bonds to be more muted.
Corporate credit and high yield bonds are somewhat MOREMaureen Farrell - Feb 27, 2013 11:54 AM ET
Bond guru and Pimco (PTTRX) managing director Bill Gross isn't buying into the bull market. In fact, he's warning investors to be afraid, be very afraid, of how inflation and the flood of cheap money will affect all investments.
Investors should be prepared to accept "lower returns on bonds, stocks, real estate and derivative strategies," Gross wrote in his monthly letter entitled "Credit Supernova!"
Championing something of a bunker mentality, Gross MOREMaureen Farrell - Jan 31, 2013 11:38 AM ET
U.S. investors plowed a record $183 billion into U.S.-listed exchange traded funds last year, surpassing the previous record of $178 billion set in 2008, according to State Street data.
"Last year's impressive overhaul amounts to yet another clear sign that ETFs are not only here to stay, but are increasingly chipping away at the dominance of mutual funds," said Olivier Ludwig, managing editor at IndexUniverse, which also tracks ETF assets.
Like mutual MOREHibah Yousuf - Jan 11, 2013 2:35 PM ET
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