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Berkshire Hathaway's Warren Buffett said Monday that given a choice between stocks and bonds over the next 10 years, he'd put his money in equities.
"If I had a choice today for a 10-year purchase of a 10-year bond at whatever it is ... or buying the S&P 500 and holding it for 10 years, I'd buy the S&P in a second," the 88-year-old Buffett said told CNBC. "Interest rates govern everything, and if there were a way to short 30-year bonds and own the S&P for 30 years, I would give you enormous odds that the S&P is going to beat 30-year bonds."
U.S. government debt yields have pingponged in a tight range for most of 2019 and remain well below levels seen before the financial crisis in 2008. The rate on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note climbed above 3 percent in 2018 as the Federal Reserve continued to hike its benchmark overnight lending rate and let its enormous balance sheet run off.
But between global growth fears and a volatile equity market, recent commentary from Fed leaders suggested that the central bankers may decide to be more patient when deciding to buoy borrowing costs in the future. The confluence of those factors has kept yields low, with investors buying bonds as a safer alternative to equities.
Still, Buffett believes that stocks are a better bet over the next 10 years, arguing that a bet on the broad S&P 500 will outperform the yield investors could see on long-term debt.
"We've had this period of extended long-term low rates not only here but around the world, and now it looks like we're not going to jack them up very fast," he added. "We may be in a new world, the world that Japan entered back in 1990. And, if so, stocks will look very cheap."
Buffett sat down with CNBC's Becky Quick on Monday to discuss his annual shareholder letter and investing outlook. The investor covered many topics in his letter, including Berkshire's $112 billion cash pile and how he plans to use it. He also discussed his first stock purchase, the dangers of too much debt, and what he sees as the biggest risks.
The interview was conducted at Berkshire-owned Nebraska Furniture Mart.