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US Stocks are Cheap, Treasurys Expensive: CIO

Tuesday, 7 Dec 2010 | 9:31 AM ET

Stocks are one of the best value asset classes available to investors, but sovereign bonds including U.S. Treasurys are among the most expensive, Hank Smith, CIO of Haverford Investment, told CNBC Tuesday.

US Stocks Cheap, Bonds Expensive
"Equities, and particularly US large-cap equities, are one of the cheapest asset classes todayâ?¦ US Treasurys are one of the most expensive," Hank Smith, CIO of Haverford Investment, told CNBC Tuesday. Jim Rogers, chairman of Rogers Holdings, joined the discussion.

"Equities, and particularly U.S. large-cap equities, are one of the cheapest asset classes today," Smith said. "Debt, particularly sovereign debt, is one of the most expensive asset classes."

Smith said he was "very optimistic" about the outlook for stocks because the fundamentals driving corporate earnings higher are improving faster than stock prices are rising.

- Watch Hank Smith, CIO of Haverford Investment, and Jim Rogers, chairman of Rogers Holdings, above.

Famous investor Jim Rogers told CNBC he agreed "100 percent" that sovereign debt was unattractive and said he is "even short United States government long bonds."

But while Smith favors stocks over government bonds, Rogers thinks commodities offer better investment prospects and is particularly positive on agriculture-related commodities.

"I own commodities because if the world economy gets better, commodities are going to do well. If the world economy does not get better, they're going to print money and then commodities will do well, so either way I would rather own commodities than stocks," Rogers said.

Smith agreed that commodities could be a good investment, but said he preferred to own stocks that represent underlying commodities, particularly those with exposure to Asian economic growth.

Commodities have the same downside risk as any other risk asset, but stocks tend to recover faster from a decline, Smith said.

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