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Where ‘Dr. Doom’ Marc Faber Sees Growth

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Marc Faber, the so-called Dr. Doom, may need a new nickname.

In an interview on CNBC’s “Trading Nation,” the Gloom, Boom & Doom Report editor reveals he may not be as bearish as some may think.

“I always tell people, ‘I am a great optimist,’” he told CNBC. “Because one of the most dangerous things to do is to drive motorcycles in Thailand, and I have five motorcycles.”

While Faber may now be a self-described optimist, he hasn’t fully let go of all of his doom and gloom.

“You can’t be always sitting there and saying ‘Stocks always go up, real estate always goes up’ and so forth and so on,” he told CNBC. “You could have zero interest rates and stocks go down – as they’ve done in Japan until three years ago. Even at these very low interest rates, something can happen and dampen the enthusiasm for equities.”

Faber believes that U.S. equities are fully priced. And while he says it’s possible that indexes could make a new high, he thinks that the majority of shares would not.

When asked if he’d bought any U.S. stocks recently, Faber said he’s done very little.

“The only thing I’ve really done recently is I added to my gold position about two months ago, and I bought some gold-related equities,” he said. “But other than that, I’ve done very little because I believe that in this extreme volatility where markets suddenly drop 10%, individual stocks drop 10% or 20% in one day – it’s a very difficult environment to make a lot of money unless you take huge risks.”

And Faber said he’s “too old” for those risks.

Faber admits to a gloomy disposition when it comes to the global economy.

“I’m most gloomy about the prospects of the global economy, but it doesn’t mean that markets will go down,” he told CNBC.

He says there are two opposing forces that keep this from happening.

On one hand, he says the weakening global economy hurts corporate profits from Tesla to Harley Davidson, IBM and Walmart.

But, on the other hand he says “you have the mad professors at central banks around the world who think that because of a weakening economy they have to do more [quantitative easing].”  

On a more positive note, Faber says he is most optimistic about the Indochinese region, which he likens to Los Angeles.

“Provided there is peace and not tensions that explode, I think the region of Indochina is right now like Newport Beach and Huntington Beach and Manhattan Beach, where I’m at right now,” he told CNBC. “It’s a boom region, Indochina. It includes Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand – which is not booming right now – Myanmar, Malaysia, Singapore.”

According to Faber, this region could “easily” grow at 6%-8% per annum for the next 10 years as long as there is peace.

“Cambodian exports were up 20% this year,” he added. “Vietnamese exports are up approximately 10% this year. So relative to the rest of the world, this is a boom region.”

Faber said he would invest in both this region’s equity market and real estate.

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