Pension Chief Says Stocks 'Fairly-Well Priced'


The buy-and-hold investing strategy remains sound and stocks are fairly-well priced, according toJim Leech, head of the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, appearing on CNBC's "Squawk Box"program ahead of the opening of the 2012 Delivering Alpha investment conference in New York.

"Our buy-and-hold strategy has been working pretty well," said Leech, referring to the traditional investment strategy based on the theory that stocks held for a period of years are likely to appreciate. The value of that strategy has come under question in recent years as market volatility has increased and stock values have largely stagnated. (Related: Investing Basics)

Leech, who oversees the administration of pensions for 295,000 current and retired teachers in the Canadian province, added that the pension plan just sold an investment it had held for 17 years.

The plan — with $117 billion in assets — has returned an average of 7 percent over the last 10 years and is up 11.2 percent so far in 2012.

Leech said the plan's portfolio is currently 45 percent stocks, which are "still fairly well priced."

Like other funds, the plan cut back on equities in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, but bulked up again in 2009, when the market began a huge rebound.

Still, he said the pension fund was moving more money into the "private market", rather than publicly-traded stocks, such as private equity investments.

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