No wonder thousands are expected to tune in today for Jeffrey Gundlach’s 2016 outlook.
The DoubleLine Capital co-founder was mostly right on his calls a year ago: oil prices would fall, junk bonds would live up to their name, China was flashing danger signs and interest rates would go sideways.
The fund manager also missed on some of his predictions. Gold prices, for example, went down instead of up.
“You’d be crazy not to listen to him,” Bill Lowery, chief investment officer of Lowery Asset Consulting, a Chicago-based firm whose $7 billion in assets includes DoubleLine fund holdings. “He’s a great source to challenge any assumptions you’re making. If you are going to be on the opposite side of one of his opinions, you better have a thoughtful rationale.”
Gundlach’s $52 billion DoubleLine Total Return Bond Fund earned 2.3 percent in 2015, outperforming 94 percent of Bloomberg peers and 98 percent of its Morningstar Inc. category. His webcast a year ago drew 4,209 live and 1,274 replay listeners, according to Loren Fleckenstein, an analyst for Los Angeles-based DoubleLine Capital.
Here’s a sampling of Gundlach’s forecasts made on Jan. 13, 2015, and how they fared:
The call: “Oil just doesn’t go up,” Gundlach said. “Countries won’t cut production. They need revenue, putting prices lower. ”
What happened: The price of a barrel of Brent crude fell to its lowest level since 2004 last week. Global production climbed to 95.9 million barrels a day in November from 94.7 million barrels a year earlier. A Morgan Stanley note Monday warned of prices falling as low as $20 a barrel.
The call: Junk bonds would head lower as energy-related and emerging market dollar-denominated debt faced repayment challenges. “Don’t go whistling through the graveyard,” Gundlach said.