Pros and retail investors split over buy the dips

Good time to reassess portfolio: Pro
Buy dips amid volatility?
Bull and bear sentiment rises: AAII survey

In the midst of the recent breakneck volatility, two money managers responsible for tens of billions of dollars of client money told CNBC on Monday they were divided on whether buying the dips in the stock market can continue to be a winning strategy.

Richard Weiss, who runs $25 billion at American Century Investments, told "Squawk Box" that buying the dips can work for investors with a "very long term" time horizon or a "high risk tolerance."

"[But] by anyone's estimation this recovery, this bull market, is long in the tooth. So what may have worked over the last five, six [or] seven years is not likely going to be the winning investment strategy over the next one or two years," he said.

"We're at a transition point here likely with what's going on over in China; the Fed trying to reload; [and] earnings decelerating as opposed to accelerating as they have been over the last several years," Weiss said. "It's really hard to see where we're going to get a shot in the arm for the recovery or the bull market."

He recommended overweighting defensive sectors such as consumer staples, health care and technology , which typically outperform in the latter stages of an economic recovery.

In a separate interview, David Bailin, who oversees more than $60 billion as global head of managed investments at Citi Private Bank, said buying the dips can still work.

Acknowledging this strategy may burn investors are some point, he said, "not this time."

But he did warn: "This is sort of the last 18 to 24 months of a very, very long growth cycle. So the actual time period that you have to buy and hold is shorter."

"All of the data continues to point to a very mild expansion globally over the next year or two," Bailin said. "And that gives us fundamental confidence to continue to be overweight equities."

The market outlook for individual investors seems to mirror the professionals, with a split over what last week's stock market volatility means for their portfolios long term, said Charles Rotblut, vice president at American Association of Individual Investors and editor of the AAII Journal.

Bullish sentiment rose 5.7 percent to 32.5 percent and bearish sentiment was up 4.9 percent to 38.3 percent, according to the latest AAII's survey for the week ending Aug. 26, which did capture the sharp selloff last Monday and Tuesday.

"We did see bullish sentiment because rise because some people saw the correction as a buying opportunity," Rotblut said. "We saw bearish sentiment rise because some people were fearful that it might lead to a bigger downswing."

The AAII also said neutral sentiment fell 10.6 percent to 29.2 percent. The survey asks the group's members their feelings about which direction they see the stock market going in the next six months.