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Invesco's Gutteridge tries to avoid being 'too cute' on equities

Asset Allocator raised its head from the data long enough to catch up with Ben Gutteridge, who runs the model portfolio service at Invesco. 

He says the bearishness which engulfed markets in February is "not wholly irrational", as stronger economic data from the US causes many investors to ponder that this could mean inflation lingers for longer, and rates rise even higher. 

Gutteridge says the market is pricing in the possibility that this leads to a recession, and so sold off equities to buy bonds. 

But that's where Invesco's man differs from much of the wider market as he prefers equities to bonds, even in a downturn. 

He says this is because he anticipates any recession would be brief and shallow, and markets would rapidly recover. He is determined not to try to be "too cute" about timing his entry and exit from equities, and so is staying with the asset class and "riding out" the volatility. 

In terms of diversification, he owns long-dated government bonds, which would usually do well as a "safe haven" asset class during a recessionary period. If policy makers responded to the downturn by cutting rates, that would boost the total returns of long dated government bonds.

Gutteridge acknowledged that long-dated bonds would usually be a poor investment if inflation persists, but says this is another example of where he is prepared to tolerate the volatility. 

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