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'Biggest risk' to markets isn't political gridlock, but something else, says this expert

  • The biggest risk to markets is when the Fed begins to unwind its massive balance sheet, according to Boston Advisors President and CIO Michael Vogelzang.
  • He added that the market is up 15 percent a year over the last seven years, since the beginning of the Fed's quantitative easing program.
  • Politics still play an important role in today's markets, Vogelzang said. "It makes up the tapestry, it's a big part of it," he said.

The Federal Reserve shrinking its balance sheet, not political gridlock, is the biggest risk for markets in the future, according to Boston Advisors President and CIO Michael Vogelzang.

"The biggest risk we haven't talked about and one that, frankly, is more important than the political agenda, is what the Federal Reserve is doing in shrinking their balance sheet," he said in an interview with CNBC's "Power Lunch" on Tuesday.

Vogelzang added the market is up 15 percent a year over the last seven years, since the beginning of the Fed's quantitative easing program.

He said that after the Fed said in June that it was looking at shrinking the balance sheet, "the headwind is much stronger."

A methodical unwinding of the balance sheet is critical to not roiling markets, according to Vogelzang.

Politics still play an important role in today's markets, he said. "It makes up the tapestry, it's a big part of it," he said.

James Norman, president of QS Investors, said in the same interview that while economic fundamentals are strong at the moment, political inaction "could potentially derail those economic indicators."

Vogelzang said, "Getting agenda items done," like tax reform and infrastructure is more important than conflict resolution, politically.

"It's not so much whether you like the guy or whether he's effective as president ... it's really about can he get stuff done and I think right now the market is getting a little worried about that," Vogelzang said.