Litman Gregory’s DeGroot Expects Double-Digit Stock Returns in Europe

Monday, 18 Jun 2012 07:36 AM

By Dan Weil

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European stocks, battered by the continent’s financial crisis over the past 18 months, are undervalued, according to Jeremy DeGroot, chief investment officer at Litman Gregory.

He expressed his bullishness to The New York Times before Greece’s election Sunday. The conservative New Democracy party placed first, a welcome development for financial markets.

As for European stocks, “We think the markets have gotten ahead of themselves,” DeGroot says. “They’ve priced in so many problems for Europe that, on a relative basis, European stocks look very attractive for long-term investors.”

The MSCI Pan-Euro Index dropped 8 percent in the last year.

The appealing valuations should send European stocks to low double-digit annual returns over the next five years, about double the 5 percent return for U.S. stocks during that period, DeGroot says.

To be sure, he’s not looking for smooth sailing in the short term. Greece’s election result and the Spanish bank bailout aren’t enough to end the euro zone’s turmoil, DeGroot maintains.

Excitement that a plurality of Greek voters didn’t support the anti-austerity Syriza party had an immediate and positive impact on markets worldwide.

But others agree with DeGroot that Europe’s woes aren’t over. “The market will breathe a sigh of relief,” Todd Lowenstein of Highmark Capital Management tells Bloomberg.

“The Greek election took a negative off the table versus this being a big positive. There are still structural issues and imbalances that need to be corrected.”


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