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Behind the Numbers, with Mark Keller

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The chief investment officer of A.G. Edwards has moved a bit towards the defensive side by increasing assets allocated to bonds for the first time since 2000. He’s decreasing holdings in stocks, but Keller says that this is not necessarily the result of a negative economic outlook. “We operate our tactical asset allocation model with a long-term benchmark of 65% stocks and 35% bonds and we’ve been above benchmarks on stocks for quite some time,” Keller says. “We felt that with the strength of stocks over the last year combined with our concern that the Fed is going to stay in a tightening mode a little longer, that we should be back at benchmark. We would go below that if we really want to get negative.” Keller says he feels that the Fed will continue to raise interest rates until they reach 5.25%. With that in mind, he is favoring 10-year Treasuries and high grade corporate bonds. On the equity side, he likes stocks in the consumer non-durable and healthcare sectors.–Ryan G. Murphy