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, the bulk of the letter concerns actual investment strategy. Gross examines something called the Sharpe ratio, which is designed to tell whether a portfolio's returns are due to smart investment decisions or the result of excessive risk.
But the part about the cat is much more interesting.
For example, Gross tells us that Bob, a female cat, would watch him as he entered and exited the shower. Bob's "obsession" with Gross was so powerful that she would tune in whenever he was on CNBC, according to the letter. In case there was any doubt, the letter includes a snapshot of Bob watching Gross on TV.
But we get the sense that the obsession went both ways.
Gross says he would ask Bob for recommendations on pet food stocks and that she would respond with "one meow for 'no,' two meows for 'you bet.'"
Still, Gross isn't just cat crazy. He also writes fondly of Honey, the golden retriever that was part of his family in the 1980s.
The letter also mentions "Wiggles and Daisy and Budgie." Gross doesn't go into detail on these three, other than to say they were "lovable pets every one of them and perhaps just as importantly – pets that loved us."
Gross is known for using colorful metaphors in his monthly commentaries. Past letters have featured references to the poet William Butler Yeats; legendary hype-man Flavor Flav; and Scrooge McDuck of "Duck Tales" fame.
But his reputation has taken a hit since Mohamed El-Erian resigned as co-chief investment officer at Pimco late last year.
In February, Gross was the subject of a scathing article in the Wall Street Journal that portrayed him as difficult to work with at best, borderline megalomaniac at worst. The article, citing unnamed sources, claimed that El-Erian left out of frustration with Gross' behavior.
Gross went on CNBC shortly after the article was published to give his version of events. While he acknowledged being a demanding boss, Gross noted that he often encouraged Pimco employees to dance around the trading floor in a conga line as a way to relive stress.
The management issues at Pimco have apparently spooked investors in the firm's flagship Total Return Fund (PTTRX). March was the 11th consecutive month that investors withdrew more money than they put in the fund, according to Morningstar.
Perhaps cats, known to be internet sensations, will also work their magic to attract investors back to the fund.
In any event, Gross is not the only celebrity investor to go long felines.
Warren Buffett, the famed value investor from Omaha, recently recommended cats, particularly kittens, in this bizarre YouTube video.
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
Everything comes at a cost, including the Fed's low rate policy and multiple rounds of monetary easing.
Not one to pass up a good musical reference, noted bond guru and Pimco managing director Bill Gross' latest missive is aptly titled "Money for Nothin' Writing checks for free" in a nod to Dire Straits. In the past, Gross has cited The Beatles and Flavor Flav in pieces.
In his first investment outlook MORECatherine Tymkiw - Jan 3, 2013 1:46 PM ET
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