Now's the Time to Invest In Stocks: Dreyfus CEO

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retired couple paperwork

US and foreign equities are "the right place to be" right now, Dreyfus CEO Jonathan Baum told CNBC Monday.

Baum, whose company manages over $400 billion in mutual funds and managed accounts and has long been a stock bull, said stocks give investors a better rate of return than Treasurys and bonds. That's particularly true for those planning their retirement.

"Four out of every 10 Americans, according to AP, are unsure about how they're going to fund their retirement today," he said. With interest rates so low, "why lock yourself into a negative rate of return? You can't meet your needs."

He said the Standard & Poor's downgrade of its outlook on the US "could have a good short-term impact. It is getting people to pay attention" to the debt problem.

The negative outlook means "you can’t keep a cap on the debt level right now. You have to get through that and take real action. I think this is a wakeup call for both sides. Long term, it’s probably good because it moves us in the right direction."