Jeffrey Gundlach said if the Federal Reserve raises interest rates in the middle of 2015 the central bank will have to reverse course.
The billionaire co-founder of DoubleLine Capital made the comments in an investor presentation Tuesday that covered bond markets, U.S. housing, global demographics and currencies. He criticized the Fed for not learning from errors made by global counterparts, which raised interest rates and then had to cut them, and Chair Janet Yellen for spending too much time with foreign officials.
“The Fed is intent on being a blockhead,” Gundlach said on the conference call, referring to the game he played as a child where participants build a tower from blocks without it collapsing on their turn.
Gundlach commented on the outlook for global assets including municipal and high-yield debt, investment-grade bonds and gold, which he predicted could climb about 20 percent to $1,400 an ounce this year because of low bond yields. He remarked that about $2 trillion of bonds globally have negative yields because of central bank purchases and that European Central Bank policy will exacerbate that.
Gundlach started Los Angeles-based DoubleLine in 2009 after he was fired as chief investment officer of TCW Group amid a dispute that led to a legal battle. His DoubleLine Total Return Bond Fund has returned 5.2 percent in the past year, beating 88 percent of rivals, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The firm manages $64 billion in assets.
The manager also had a warning for investors seeking to be contrarian when it comes to betting against the U.S. dollar.
“Don’t do it,” he said. “The dollar, which has been a world leader, is going to be a world leader.”