In the last quarter, BlackRock's cash rose by another $1 billion, Fink said. Earlier this year the company bought $2.5 million of its shares from Bank of America , he said,and a decision on whether to buy more "if that’s the right opportunity" will be made during its annual board meeting in February.
BlackRock won't be buying other asset managers, although many have been put up for sale by European banks seeking to raise capital, he added.
Europe's financial problems are adding to the market's confusion, he said. "We’re seeing governments worldwide focusing on incrementalism and not long-term planning. That’s putting a deep chill into the marketplace and we’re seeing that in Europe."
BlackRock's pension fund clients are being hit by low interest rates, which costs them more to pay their employees a guaranteed return. At the same time, stocks are down sharply.
"Our pension fund clients worldwide are struggling to figure out what to do here. They’re not in denial but taking a step backwards now and saying, 'How do we think about asset allocation?'" Fink said. "They’ll move a great sum of money out of bonds into equities because at 2.5 percent you cannot meet your liability."
Bonds, he said, "are a great investment if you think the world is going to be terribly unsettled and if you think that will persist."
Otherwise, he said, BlackRock is advising clients to take a longer-term view and move into "alternatives" such as ETFs, bonds and emerging markets.