Bill Gross’ Year a ‘Stinker,’ as He Lags 92% of Peers

Famed PIMCO bond manager says he ‘has lost a few fly balls in the sun’ this year

Investors may ask themselves, “Why are we listening to this guy?”

Proving that even a “fixed income fund manager of the decade” isn’t immune to performance stumbles, The Financial Times reported Tuesday that PIMCO’s Bill Gross, manager of the world’s largest bond fund, PIMCO Total Return (PTTRX) lost money in the past month as he “struggles to turn around a year of uncharacteristic poor performance.”

Although month-to-month and year over-year-comparisons are somewhat superficial, the FT notes Gross is now ranked behind 92% of his peers, according to an analysis by Lipper, in a year when less than 10% of active bond managers have beaten their benchmark.

“His fund has lost 0.45% in the last month while the Barclays Capital US aggregate Bond index rallied by a similar amount,” according to FT. “Mr. Gross has now given up most of the gains since he apologized in writing to his investors on October 14.”

In the letter, Gross said this year has been a “stinker” and that “PIMCOs centerfielder has lost a few fly balls in the sun.”

PIMCO’s Total Return Fund is now up only 2.08% for the year so far against a gain of 6.95% for the Barclays Capital US aggregate bond index, according to the paper.

Gross added that he was “showing up early every day at the ballpark” to improve performance.”

Over the past decade, Gross is ranked in the top 5% of bond managers, according to Lipper.

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