The New Normal was an investment term first put out there by Bill Gross (picture left) of Pimco. ( Read Bill’s most recent comments here.) Bill started talking about it a couple of years ago and it has developed in to a full investment thesis. Bill says – “Our New Normal, to repeat ad nauseam, is predicated upon deleveraging, reregulation and deglobalization, all of which promote slower economic growth and lower inflation in developed economies while substantially bypassing emerging market countries that have more favorable initial conditions.”
This term was mentioned by another author, this time from one of the most well known economists, Nouriel Roubini, in his recent comments. I have met Nouriel and other members of his team many times and find them both thorough and thoughtful. Nouriel’s website Roubini.com.
Roubini -“Since the end of 2009 we have been emphasizing that the recovery would be multi-speed—or at least two-speed—with much of the advanced world displaying a below-trend, anemic growth pace and the emerging world showing a more V-shaped recovery. Now, the global macroeconomic deterioration that we still see emerging in the second half of 2010 increasingly is becoming the consensus view. In much of the advanced world this low growth will feel like a recession even if these economies technically avoid a double dip. Meanwhile, emerging markets are showing that even their more robust recoveries are not insulated from the slowdowns and structural adjustments in advanced economies. We have never been subscribers to the decoupling thesis and believe that emerging markets also will have to partially adjust to a “New Normal.”
I agree with this New Normal view and it will remain challenging to construct an investment portfolio with strong positive returns. Personally I remain very cautious on developed country equites and bonds. I think it will pay to hang out on the sidelines and see how this theory plays out. That said, for how to invest with this investment thesis in mind, follow or invest with PIMCO. They manage over $1 trillion in assets. Yes, $1 trillion. I am not sure how that is even possible with just over 1300 employees. I have had the pleasure of meeting many folks from PIMCO and it is one impressive shop.