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Prominent investor Martin Sass is taking a cautious investment stance after being bullish for most of the market run since 2009.
The money manager, who oversees $7 billion in assets at M.D. Sass, a New York-based firm he founded in 1972, believes the market may now be treading on thin ice. Since 1999, the flagship strategy of Sass' firm has more than doubled the cumulative return of the S&P 500.
A combination of uncertainty over the path of interest rates, collapsing oil prices, pressure on illiquid junk bonds and decelerating growth in China could destabilize the market, according to Sass.
Given those potential headwinds, the investor is maintaining most of his $100,000 in theoretical money for the CNBC Pro model portfolio in cash.
"I'm holding an unusually high 60 percent cash position in my CNBC Platinum Portfolio to protect against downside risks and to provide a reserve to capitalize on tactical opportunities during volatile sell-offs," wrote Sass.
The other 40 percent is invested among four stocks, which he believes can weather a rocky market run this year given their strong fundamentals.
Here are the names and why he is buying them in his words.