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These are the biggest risks for the next year, money managers say

Amid sluggish global growth and lofty bond prices, three money managers on Tuesday outlined the biggest risks they see for the next year.

Despite the uncertainty of the presidential election, the market watchers said the choice between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton may not derail markets substantially.

Here are their thoughts, from the 2016 Delivering Alpha conference sponsored by CNBC and Institutional Investor.


Mark Carhart, Stuart Fiertz and Ashbel Williams
David A. Grogan | CNBC
Mark Carhart, Stuart Fiertz and Ashbel Williams

1) Major geopolitical incident

A significant geopolitical incident, like a terrorist attack, could grind markets down, said Ashbel Williams, chief investment officer at the Florida State Board of Administration.

Williams, whose board managed more than $170 billion at the end of June, added that he fears a financial contagion that causes "some sort of wholesale gridlock." He believes it could emerge from parts of Europe or Asia that lack transparency.

2) Unwillingness to get away from "rates and equities"

Investors may need to look away from bonds and equities toward "nontraditional parts of these markets," said Stuart Fiertz, co-president and director of research at Cheyne Capital.

"I just find rates and equity markets heavily distorted right now, and there are opportunities out there," he said.

U.S. stock averages float near all-time highs, while bond-buying has driven yields negative in some parts of the world this year. He cited real estate as a possible alternative.

3) The 60/40 portfolio

The 60 percent to 40 percent stock-to-bond ratio in portfolios no longer works, contended Mark Carhart, chief investment officer and founding partner of Kepos Capital, which manages more than $2 billion.

"I would take as much out of that as you feel comfortable," he said.