Just about four months after Ray Dalio, the head of the world's largest hedge fund, told CNBC in an interview that investors should ignore warnings of a forthcoming market correction and funnel excess cash into the markets, his firm Bridgewater Associates looks to be turning a lot more bearish. The Westport, Connecticut-based investment behemoth now considers 2019 a “dangerous year,” according to website ZeroHedge, citing a note from the firm published Tuesday. (See also: How Goldman's Hedge Fund Picks Beat The Market.)
Following Dalio's remarks at the end of January, in which he suggested that "if you're holding cash, you're going to feel pretty stupid," the market went on a 10-day plunge in February and has continued to suffer through a period of choppiness. As of Wednesday, at 2,750.90, the S&P 500 reflects an approximate 4.2% decline from January highs, and a 2.8% gain year-to-date (YTD).
In February, Bridgewater's co-investment chief Bob Prince warned in an interview with the Financial Times that a "much bigger market shakeout" was likely to come. Prince, who runs $160 billion of investments alongside Dalio, added that equities were likely to continue to experience turbulence as global markets enter a new era of volatility and adjust to higher interest rates following a decade of loose monetary policy.
Dalio: Cash In Your Winners
In a Q&A session hosted by social platform Reddit last week, Dalio recommended that investors cash in on pricier stocks that have performed exceptionally well over the recent years, and reallocate to cheaper equities.
Now, the world's largest hedge fund has told clients that it is bearish on almost all financial assets.
"We are bearish on financial assets as the U.S. economy progresses toward the late cycle, liquidity has been removed, and the markets are pricing in a continuation of recent conditions despite the changing backdrop," read the note written by co-chief investment officer Greg Jensen, according to ZeroHedge. "2019 is setting up to be a dangerous year, as the fiscal stimulus rolls off while the impact of the Fed's tightening will be peaking." (See also: Ray Dalio: Sell Expensive Stocks, Party Like Crazy.)