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Concerns about inflation keep this strategist up at night

Financials a 'pocket of value': Lebovitz

JPMorgan's David Lebovitz is fairly confident about the state of the U.S. economy, but there is one issue weighing on his mind.

"The thing that keeps me up at night: I think there is more inflationary pressure in the system than a lot of people really appreciate," the global market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management said in an interview with CNBC's "Power Lunch" on Friday.

"I think the labor market is tight. I think wages are going to start picking up into the end of the year. And I think that there is a risk that next year we could find ourselves in an inflation environment — it's not hyperinflation — and the Fed finds itself a little bit behind the curve."

The Federal Reserve passed on raising interest rates at its September meeting, but indicated it may hike before the end of the year. It hasn't increased rates since its first post-easing hike in December 2015.

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Lebovitz said if the central bank tries to start catching up on rate increases at the same time that rising wages are putting downward pressure on corporate margins, it would be a "toxic cocktail" for the market.

Inflationary pressure will also put the fixed income market at risk, Lebovitz said. He believes the bull market in fixed income has ended, but the bear market hasn't started yet.

"Inflation is going to be the missing link there," Lebovitz noted.

That said, there is a lot weighing on the overall market in the next three months, including the presidential election, the Fed meetings and a referendum in Italy.

Therefore, Lebovitz advocates investors keep a balanced portfolio that includes stocks and bonds.

"I wouldn't be abandoning fixed income yet. I would just be cognizant of some of the risks that are on the horizon."