Two very different strategists — the bullish Wharton professor and author Jeremy Siegel and the often-bearish Marc Faber of the Gloom, Boom & Doom report — both prefer stocks over bonds right now.
“Everything looks bad at the present time and people are relatively bearish,” Faber tells CNBC. “At the same time, you have the 10-year note at less than 1.5 percent and you have stocks like Johnson & Johnson yielding almost 4 percent. I’m not saying Johnson & Johnson won’t go down with the rest of the market, but if you have a time horizon of 10 years, I believe you’re going to make more money in Johnson & Johnson than you will in U.S. government bonds.”
Siegel, meanwhile, also says dividend yields — and the low yields on government bonds — are a big reason for investing in stocks right now. “This is the first time in 60 years that dividend yields on the market exceed long-term interest rates,” he said. “It’s the first time in 60 years when you don’t need gains in stocks, that you don’t need higher returns than gains in bonds. You don’t have to worry so much about the day-to-day volatility if the corporation, if the firm has good coverage on its dividend, because it’s going to continue to pay.”
Siegel sees growth continuing at a slow pace, with flat earnings but well-covered dividends. “I think it’s still a very, very good story for stocks,” he said. Faber, however, says he thinks the global economy is worse than it appears in recent reports, particularly because Chinese growth is worse than what is being reported.