Larry Fink, CEO of the world's biggest asset manager BlackRock, told shareholders that the economy will recover from the coronavirus pandemic, and when it does, there will be "tremendous opportunities" to be had.
"In my 44 years in finance, I have never experienced anything like this," Fink said in an annual letter to shareholders, citing the mounting toll of the virus to human life, markets and businesses small and large.
"As dramatic as this has been, I do believe that the economy will recover steadily, in part because this situation lacks some of the obstacles to recovery of a typical financial crisis," Fink said. "Central banks are moving quickly to address problems in credit markets, and governments are now acting aggressively to enact fiscal stimulus."
Late last week, President Trump signed a historic $2 trillion stimulus bill to cushion the economic blow from the pandemic. The law expands unemployment benefits, sends $1,200 checks to individuals, offers loans to small businesses and includes a $500 billion Fed program to prop up corporations. The move follows a series of actions from the Federal Reserve to stabilize the financial markets that companies and lenders rely on.
"At BlackRock, we take a long-term view of markets, and we take a long-term view in the way we run our company," he said. "The world will get through this crisis. The economy will recover. And for those investors who keep their eyes not on the shaky ground at our feet, but on the horizon ahead, there are tremendous opportunities to be had in today's markets."
BlackRock manages $7.4 trillion for clients around the world and has the industry's biggest ETF franchise. The furious decline in stock markets this month have created an opportunity for some clients to move more into equities, Fink said. He cautioned that it is "impossible" to know if markets have bottomed and that heavily indebted companies will struggle in the weeks ahead.
"For some clients, the recent sell-off created an attractive opportunity to rebalance into equities," Fink said. "Indeed, many of our clients – even those who generally have a heavy allocation to fixed income due to their risk profiles – are looking to increase their equity allocation in this market."