Asset Managers Hold Most Cash In 2 Years In "Least Believed Bull Market" Ever

Tyler Durden's picture

It seems David Tepper's "frigging" "dangerous" market is hitting home as asset managers have greatly rotated their portfolios to hold the most cash in 2 years. Of course, as BAML is quick to point out - this is great "wall of worry" climbing news, "it’s people taking money off the table and playing defensive. There is some inherent buying power." We have now seen almost 6 months of institutional selling and retail investor buying and Bloomberg does a great job rounding up the best market mantras for why it's different this time, and everything is fine.

 

BofA survey shows that asset manager cash levels are at 2 year highs... (the grey bars) - which of course they see as awesomely bullish

 

even though that has dipped BAML's risk and liquidity indicator negative for the first time in 2 years...

 

But there's no need to worry... (via Bloomberg)

Firstly - it's the weather...

Today’s bearish investors are tomorrow’s bulls, according to Chris Bouffard, chief investment officer at the Mutual Fund Store in Overland Park, Kansas. Sentiment will improve once the economy rebounds from a weather-related slowdown, he said.

 

“There is a solid foundation for an advancing market,” Bouffard said by phone on May 15. His firm oversees $9 billion. “We certainly see that cautious stance among pockets of our clients. It’s not because there is any impending sense of doom.

Then there's Bob Doll's Wall of Worry...

Walls of worry are everywhere,” Robert Doll, who helps oversee $118 billion as chief equity strategist at Nuveen Asset Management in Chicago, told Tom Keene and Michael McKee on Bloomberg Radio’s “Surveillance” on May 14. “This is the least believed bull market that I’ve ever seen. From here it’s earnings, it’s fundamentals, it’s can the economy grow? And my guess is the answer to that question is yes.”

Though some are a little skeptical...

People are a little bit concerned that something could be on the horizon,” Eric Schoenstein, co-manager of the $5.3 billion Jensen Quality Growth Fund in Portland, Oregon, said by phone on May 15, referring to a potential market crash similar to those that began in 2000 and 2007. “Investors are skittish and that probably makes sense because it lengthens the bull market.

But there is always the fact that

When you see this type of downdraft in very visible names, people’s risk averse attitude tends to take over,” Margie Patel, who oversees about $1.4 billion at Wells Capital Management in Boston, said by phone on May 15. “After the economic crisis, a lot of investors were traumatized. People are more looking at preserving their assets.”

So BTFD... just like institutional managers are not... because we need to keep the dream alive

We know where the flows have been...