US Markets

Don't expect a systemic collapse in the market, expert says

Key Points
  • People are prepared to believe that what happened during the financial crisis is going to happen again, but that was a once-in-a-nine-decade experience, Brian Levitt said.

  • That's because there is not the same leverage in the system now, he explained.

  • He thinks volatility may pick up, but there will be no systemic collapse in the market.

Valuations are vulnerable: Expert

People may be worried about a looming correction, but there isn't any big shock coming to the market, strategist Brian Levitt told CNBC on Tuesday.

"People are so prepared to believe that what happened most recently [during the financial crisis] is going to happen in the future," he said, noting that the 2008 crisis was a once-in-a-nine-decade experience.

That's because there is not the same leverage in the system now, the senior investment strategist for Oppenheimer Funds said in an interview with "Power Lunch."

"You might see some volatility pick up in markets, but to think that we're going to have a systemic collapse and a financial crisis like we had in 2008 is the height of hyperbole," Levitt said.

Steve Carell is seen on the set of 'The Big Short' on May 20, 2015 in New York City.
Ignat | Bauer-Griffin | Getty Images

His comments echoed those of Steve Eisman, whose bet against the highly leveraged banking system was chronicled in "The Big Short" book and movie. He told "Fast Money" late Monday he doesn't see any risks of that magnitude to any part of the U.S. economy on the horizon.

"There's no big short in my view. There are sector shorts; there are stock shorts. This is back to a stock-picker's market," Eisman said. "I think there are plenty of shorts in this market. It's just not a systemic problem."

Benjamin Segal, global equity portfolio manager at Neuberger Berman, agrees. However, he thinks overseas markets are more attractive, particularly Europe.

"If you see a continuation of profit-margin squeeze here in the U.S. I think valuations are vulnerable," he told "Power Lunch" on Tuesday.

"If you contrast that to the recapitalized European banking system and an economic recovery there, I think the operating leverage drives earnings growth in markets outside the U.S. and valuations are starting at a lower point."

Levitt also thinks investors will do better in international markets such as Europe and emerging markets.

For those investing in the U.S., "you're likely to do better investing in active strategies in the United States and other weighting methodologies besides market capitalization," he noted.

That's because passive strategies, which are pouring a lot of money into market cap stocks, have done well in benign economic cycles and "that is not always going to be the case," Levitt explained.

—CNBC's Evelyn Cheng contributed to this report.