'Goldilocks' economy not sustainable, investors should start reducing risk: Money manager

  • While there's a good chance the market will continue to run higher, it's time for investors to start turning a bit cautious, says money manager David Spika.
  • He points to 4 percent GDP growth, 20 percent earnings growth, unemployment below 4 percent and wages "not growing like they should."
  • "All of this is a Goldilocks scenario that is just not sustainable," he says.

While there's a good chance the market will continue to run higher, it's time for investors to start turning a bit cautious, money manager David Spika told CNBC on Wednesday.

"A phrase that is ringing through my head is 'if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.' And that's what this environment feels like today," said Spika, president of GuideStone Capital Management, which has more than $11 billion in assets under management.

He points to 4 percent GDP growth, 20 percent earnings growth, unemployment below 4 percent and wages "not growing like they should."

"All of this is a Goldilocks scenario that is just not sustainable," he told "Power Lunch." Goldilocks generally refers to an economy that is not too hot or cold such as having moderate growth and low inflation.

While second-quarter earnings growth has been driving the market today, Spika's concerned that investors are expecting this current Goldilocks environment to continue.

"We saw what happens when companies fail to meet earnings expectations, with Twitter and Facebook and Netflix," he said. "Markets are not going to react favorably if these high expectations are not met."

Facebook, which posted second-quarter earnings in late July, suffered the worst day in its history as a public company after reporting revenue that missed analyst projections. Twitter shares, meanwhile, experienced their worst single-day percentage drop since 2014 after reporting declining monthly active users. Netflix shares also tumbled after it missed its subscriber addition projections.

Spika recommends that investors start to look at lower-risk assets.

"Can the market continue to go up from here? Probably. Will it? Yeah, there's a good chance it will," he said. "But at this point in the cycle, as late as we are, as much as we've made in the markets – particularly in technology – I think it's time to start de-risking," he said.

However, that's not what's on portfolio manager David Sowerby's agenda.

He told "Power Lunch" he would do "very little" de-risking.

"If we were at Goldilocks levels, investor sentiment would be much more euphoric and robust. It is simply not. That's a good thing. That can allow asset prices to go higher," said Sowerby, a managing director at Ancora Advisers.

While there is risk on some of the "priced-to-perfection" tech stocks, he said there are large- and small-cap stocks that are growing dividends better than 10 percent and have a healthy free-cash flow.

Specifically, he still sees great valuations in names like DSW and Kearny Financial.

"I don't think that's an overpriced, over excessive market that you want to be significantly de-risking," Sowerby said.

Disclosures: Ancora owns DSW and KRNY.

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