Forester Sees Problems Ahead

Tom Forester, whose Forester Value fund was the lone long-only mutual fund to make money in 2008, says he thinks the market has gotten pricey and sees more trouble on the horizon for banks.

“The markets are trading at about 20 times earnings. Historically, the average is about 14. So things are looking pretty rich right now,” Forester tells AOL’s Daily Finance. “I don’t expect things to fall off a cliff again like in ’07. But I do expect things to trend down,” he adds, though it’s not clear whether he’s talking about the market, economy, or both.

Forester remains very cautious on banks. He has underweighted them in his portfolio because of trouble he sees for the housing market, which he thinks will lead to more write-offs. “Right now, people are saying, ‘It’s all done, don’t worry about it, they’re minting money right now, banks are the place to be,'” Forester said. “And I just don’t agree with that.”

The article offers a look at Forester’s broad strategy, which has helped him outperform most other funds in his category over the past three, five, and ten years. “Forester, 51, is a conservative, large-cap value investor who gravitates toward stability,” Daily Finance’s Michael Shari writes, adding that Forester likes “stocks that are trading at historically low price-to-earnings multiples.” Forester also talks about why he prefers the P/E ratio to other valuation measures, like the price/book ratio.

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