Top value fund manager Stephen Romick continues to be wary of the current stock market environment, and has a big chunk of his portfolio in cash.
“It continues to be a seller’s market,” Romick writes in his Q2 client letter (h/t ValueWalk). “Private equity firms have been refinancing their debt at historically low rates and/or reducing their ownership stakes for the past few years. Shares in initial public offerings (IPOs) are being sold at the quickest rate in years. 2014 was the largest IPO year since 2000 and IPOs remain robust in 2015, thus far, despite decelerating from last year. And, the vast majority of those newly-issued shares in 2015 are for companies that have negative earnings.”
Romick has about 40% of his portfolio in cash. In a recent Barron’s interview, he said he’s delving into large tech plays and even Russia a bit in search of values. “It remains challenging to find those investments that appropriately discount a reasonable worst case scenario,” he wrote in his letter. “Until such time as that changes, we continue to add depth and breadth to our library of prospective investments so as to be ready when opportunities arise.”