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Dan Fuss: It's Too Early to Relax

A veteran bond manager compares the current economic and market crisis to previous ones and reflects on the attractiveness of various asset classes at this juncture.

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Our guest this week is Dan Fuss. Dan is vice chairman of Loomis Sayles board of directors and is the longtime manager of the firm’s flagship Loomis Sayles Bond Fund LSBDX as well as a number of other strategies. Dan is one of the most experienced bond managers in the industry today; he recently entered his seventh decade in the investment business. He’s also one of the most accomplished bond managers around, racking up an excellent long-term record over his career. In recognition of this, Morningstar named Dan the Outstanding Portfolio Manager at last year’s Morningstar Awards for Investing Excellence. Dan has twice served as president of the CFA Institute’s Boston chapter. He earned a bachelor’s and MBA from Marquette University and served in the United States Navy from 1955 to 1958.

Background and Research
Dan Fuss bio
Morningstar analysis of Loomis Sayles Bond, March 2, 2020

Morningstar’s analysis of Loomis Sayles Strategic Income, March 12, 2020.

Morningstar’s analysis of Loomis Sayles Global Allocation, Oct. 16, 2019.

Morningstar report for Loomis Sayles Investment Grade Fixed Income

Morningstar report for Loomis Sayles Fixed Income

"Winners of the 2019 Awards for Investing Excellence," by Laura Pavlenko Lutton, Morningstar.com, May 9, 2019.

Current Market/Investment Outlook
Loomis Sayles Investment Outlook, April 2020.

1973-74 Stock Market Crash, Wikipedia.

Dollar Climbs on Safe-Haven Beds, Shrugs Off Horrible U.S. Jobs Number,” by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss, Reuters.com, April 2, 2020.

The Fed Starts a New Program to Provide Dollars to Central Banks and Calm the $5 Trillion Currency Market,” by Ben Winck, Markets Insider, Mar. 31, 2020.

U.S. High Grade Corporate Bond Issuance Sets Weekly Record,” by Kate Duguid and Joshua Franklin, Reuters.com, April 2, 2020.

Long-Term Capital Hedge Fund Crisis,” by Kimberly Amadeo, The Balance.com, Jan. 8, 2020.

Here’s a List of Companies That Have Suspended Their Dividends and Stopped Buying Back Stock,” by Lawrence C. Strauss and Andrew Bary, Barron’s, March 23, 2020.

Hyperinflation in the Weimar Republic, Wikipedia.

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Jeff Ptak: Hi, and welcome to The Long View. I'm Jeff Ptak, global director of manager research for Morningstar Research Services.

Christine Benz: And I'm Christine Benz, director of personal finance for Morningstar, Inc.

Ptak: Our guest this week is Dan Fuss. Dan is vice chairman of the Loomis, Sayles board of directors and is the longtime manager of the firm's flagship Loomis Sayles Bond Fund, as well as a number of other strategies. Dan is one of the most experienced bond managers in the industry today. He recently entered his seventh decade in the investment business. He's also one of the most accomplished bond managers around racking up an excellent long-term record over his career. In recognition of this, we named Dan the Outstanding Portfolio Manager at last year's Morningstar Awards for Investing Excellence. Dan has twice served as president of the CFA Institute's Boston chapter. He earned a bachelor's and MBA from Marquette University and served in the United States Navy from 1955 to 1958. We thank Dan for his service and are pleased to have him as our guest.

Dan, welcome to The Long View.

Daniel Fuss: Thank you. Good to be here.

Ptak: Let's start on a somewhat mundane note, your work setting. We're curious where you're doing your work, where your team is, and how the way you and your team have worked together has changed over the last month or so. These are extraordinary times after all. And so, I think our listeners would be curious to know how you and your team are adapting to it.

Fuss: Well, first of all, I can shut off for everything else here. As you can see, I'm still adapting. I'm in the basement of my home right now, using a pool room as a base, an old storage and drum room for one of our sons for right now and also upstairs when I'm not underfoot. So, that's the balance, and everybody else is also at home. We don't have anybody in the office, or some others in the home remote spot as far as the team I'm working with. We do have a formal meeting each morning at 9:15. We go through each of the markets around the world and have some quick credit comments, and then wrap that up. And during the day, if need be, we talk to each other on a need basis. Now, that's a simplified version of how it runs.

The heavy duty, the strain in that, which so far has gone very, very, very well, is with the trade execution, conversations with trading, and making sure everything is going exactly as we planned in the individual portfolios. Now, you say, “Well, gee, that's not that hard.” Well, let me tell you, it's a workout. So, the combination of trading and what we call the “portfolio assistant role,” those are the troops on the front line. And that works so far--knock on wood--that is working like a charm. But the hours are long. So, we have to watch that. It's not just while the market’s open. It's before for an hour or so and afterwards for sometimes two to three, and that's where we're going. And then we have other people talking on the phone with clients. And then, operations is obviously critical in a whole lot of areas that are hardly ever seen or recognized, and right now they are not being seen but they're certainly being recognized. That's the setting.

Ptak: That's helpful. I wanted you to reflect on your many years of experience. This has been a disorienting period. The global economy is ground to a halt. Markets have been heaving to and fro. So, we'd welcome your perspective on what you see when you look across the economy and the bond market in this remarkable time that we find ourselves in right now.

Fuss: Well, it is extraordinary. Now, I've been doing this since 1958. I've seen some tough markets. Worst of all was, actually, I'd say, from February through the end of the first week of October in 1974. That was a killer in all the markets. But it was confined, or at least our interests at that time, were confined to the U.S. and Canada. This one is very, very different. That has a few similarities to 2008 but not as many as is oftentimes referred to. You had the market volatility this time and with a lag effect--not very long--effect on the economy. But this one is global and the economic and physical effect is global. It is very, very, very important from a geopolitical viewpoint. And so, we are dealing with new situations. And our investment portfolios, depending on the style, have also gone global over the years in countries other than our own and our own.

And so, the interaction between the markets around the world is noticeable--more than noticeable, extremely important. And the money flows for the time being seem to be coming very, very heavily towards the U.S. dollar and not surprisingly also towards Japanese yen. And noticeably now, just more the last day or so, started to notice it towards Canada. So, there's an element here of whether or not the currency is a reserve currency, and the U.S. has the largest position depending on how you measure, about 71% or so, of the international reserves. But right now, it's the currency that everybody seems to want. And the Fed has recognized that, thank God, and they said, “Listen, you can sell us back your U.S. Treasuries or lend them back to us, and we'll lend you U.S. dollars. And so, you can deal with your trade obligations that way. And our security for the loan is U.S. Treasuries.” So, that works pretty well. And the securities that are being loaned are actually producing more income probably than what's being charged on the repo. And it's not an overnight repo. It can run for months.

So, the Fed from one view, and I think the approval of people saying this, has really become the world's central bank in some respects, and that is very, very important. Not in the newspapers to my knowledge, but also out there, I think it is possible in a few cases, in the so-called third world, where they have a similar arrangement with the Chinese central bank and the Chinese currency. They seem to be doing their very best at what is called soft diplomacy. This has been written up in the papers. But I think the financial aspects might not be quite as visible.

So, you have that degree of cooperation between central banks and in other respects, too, which is one of the few bright spots in this whole thing because an overriding concern before the coronavirus was the climate change thing. And the overriding concern with that or contributing concern, side-by-side, is the conflict that has been growing between China and the U.S. That has the political scientists very, very worried. And it's been getting the market worried. And it's another reason for some of the money flows from Asia coming into the U.S. Now, none of this has a precedent. The closest thing to it I used to hear from my parents was the flight of money from Europe to the U.S. in the 1930s. I was alive, but I wasn't following the markets at that time. So, there are many aspects to this.

And the last one is that liquidity can be either readily available in certain areas, at the same time that it's not available at all in others, geographically and sometimes within their own markets. It's a long answer, but that's how I see the world right now. The secondary impacts, or most important for most people, is that the economy is getting hit hard. All economies are getting hit hard. There may be an exception here or there. But all economies are really getting hit hard. And the consequences of that are going to take quite a long time to work their way through the financial markets, particularly from a credit perspective. That's a long answer for you.

Benz: Your firm's outlook holds that the global economy should resume its expansion in the second half of the year. So, what are the implications if we remain mired in a recession for longer than that, and how does that possibility factor into the way that you're positioning portfolios?

Fuss: Well, very importantly, I would say our official outlook is certainly to be hoped for the recession is more--not a V-shape, but not a very big U. So, down you go, very, very sharply. And then, as the impact of the virus start to pass and activity gradually returns, then we start. There's a gradual, not a complete rebound, but a gradual uptrend in the economy. More or less similar--here you have a similarity that would be similar to what we had starting in 2009. So, a gradual ascent and the markets returning to normal. That is a model. The weakness in the model, in the first place, assuming it does start, the economy starts to rebound on the low level is--how low is that level, how quickly can production, et cetera, be resumed, and what has changed that we don't see from the present view, in particular, what happens in reference to the bond market, what happens to the credit of companies that are dealing with declines in revenues of 25%, 30%, 50%, 70% as you go down the size spectrum of companies and look in the service area, you discover you have a lot of companies that are really the one thing they do is ground to a halt. They're not doing it. Extreme examples being restaurants. So, now, they can start up right away, what will consumer trends look like? Will we immediately go back to where things were at the peak? We don't know. We doubt it, but it's possible. And what other things will we notice? Will we ever have enough toilet paper? I certainly hope so. And other things like that. I look forward to eating ice cream again, that type of thing.

Now, each day that goes along with things getting worse now pushes out at what point the recovery starts. I personally think it's very, very unlikely that in the U.S. that the constraints on social distancing and so forth, or the urge to social distance, I doubt if that's going to go away too soon because we're collecting anecdotal evidence now from Asia that, “Hey, there's a second wave to this thing.” Hong Kong is a good example. Now, they say, no, it's all because people came home and got it rolling again. Well, that may be. But at any rate, they're dealing with a second wave. How about China? Well, we don't know for sure. But many people are suspicious of: Have they really nipped this thing? Some countries, notably Singapore, have been very successful. Taiwan, again, to a degree, and trust the numbers, but I think that's a high degree, have been very, very successful because they got to it first.

Well, OK. As things open up, people will travel from other countries. Ah, well, maybe we'll limit that. OK. You limit that, then how far is the recovery go? The net-net of this whole thing is, I think the Fed is going to have to keep things lower for longer. I think the degree of cooperation between central banks on how to handle this will continue at its current level and will pull further. I think there will be international support in the weaker areas. Because what we don't get much data on right now are the weaker countries and the so-called third world, where the risk of contagion with this virus is very, very high and the resources available are minuscule. So, that's going to be a real problem. I don't see a pickup in air travel, for example, under the best circumstances, that's going to be remarkable. Certain areas will, but they will be consumer items.

So, I think we have to be extra careful on our credits. And when I kibitz on the equity side, I think a lot of the earnings models for the companies in regard to the equity side and credit side are going to have to be more than tweaked. They're going to have to be amended. And yet, it will not be possible for many companies to reflect in their own cost structure the situations that they face with revenues. So, their revenues are going down faster than their costs. No two ways about that. And from a cash flow viewpoint, once you go negative, that's really a headache. So, no wonder the new issue market is breaking records on the investment-grade side, on the credit side, even though people say the balance sheets are stretched, or this is a good time, in fact, get the cash. And at the same time, those who can't do that are pulling down their credit lines as fast as they can.

This is not going to be a smooth recovery. I think there are substantial bumps in the road and the uncertainty. The variable really is, how quicker and how far does government support for various areas go? We have interim support here for the airlines, certainly for the defense contractors, although their orders are hanging in there. The banks, not the same degree of leverage on the bank balance sheet prior to this, that we had back 12 years ago, but a different loss experience on the credit side.

It's too early to relax. By background and by habit I like to buy into severe market declines. I can understand people going forward on the equity side right now. I can even see it in the various high-graded areas if you feel the Fed is going to keep the clamps on for a long time. I think once you get into high yield, depending on the credit, or certainly some in there that will do well and a few here and there who are going to do exceptionally well, but many are going to suffer from this. And some are going to suffer a whole lot, particularly when it's combined with anything else. For example, the energy area, some winners, some losers. If you're marginal credit going after natural gas in the Permian Basin or any other basin, you got a problem. And now, with maybe the so-called oil war being over, maybe you'll come back enough to get some production of natural gas growing again. But in the meantime, your revenues don't match your expenses. And so, you have to do something. So, there will be a lot of recapitalizations in here. I doubt if any of them will be in the major companies on the New York Stock Exchange or anything like that. But when you get into the second and third layers in most industries, you're going to have to watch out for the recapitalizations. And that takes a huge research effort because each one is a time sink. And we're working on that. We're getting prepared there because some of them are going to surprise you.

Liquidity, I do think, is probably going to be reasonable through this. My worry here four months ago, even three months ago, was not about this development. It was about the leverage in the various balance sheets and, more particularly, in the markets with the 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 times leverage in investment vehicles. Now, some of those are coming to sad days already. Eventually, that money gets washed out of the market and then you get a little more strength to the recovery. So, we'll see.

We'll revisit our outlook every week and formally every month. I hope we're right or even I hope we're too bearish on the economy. But right now, I think it pays to be more careful and say, “Well, maybe this is going to take a little while longer,” thereby increasing the pressure on the earnings of corporations and individuals.

Ptak: Have you been using this downturn as an opportunity to upgrade the quality of your holdings? You used the word “cautious.” And so, I don't know if that--and I realized that you may be a bit limited in talking about where the portfolio is currently positioned--but if you can give us a flavor for the kinds of adjustments that you've made to try to adapt to the current environment, given some of the factors that you cited in your description that you just gave to us?

Fuss: Well, let me use the Loomis Sayles Bond Fund, the largest of the fixed-income funds …

Ptak: Perfect.

Fuss: …because that knowledge is public--and the first-quarter statement’s being put to bed right now and will soon be out there in people's hands, but there are ways of looking that up-- and do a comparison from say, oh, nine months ago. But it could even go back a year. In fact, yeah, let's go back a year, a year and a quarter. We were increasingly coming up in quality because we were shifting more towards U.S. Treasuries. And as the year progressed, this became more apparent. And to be honest, I was suffering some flak from this and not within the firm but exterior to the firm and more on the separate account side where we're doing the same thing, and saying, “How come, how come, what's going on here?” And so we add reserves at year-end in the Bond Fund, liquid reserves. Wow. At that time, the liquid reserves included some short-term AA corporates, but mostly U.S. Treasuries, including a few percent in the 30-year as we came into this, and that increased a bit in January-February. And then, oh wow, that's when everything really broke loose.

And so, we had been afraid of this leverage in the market. And whether memories, my own, going back to 1998, when all the monies left Asia (already) because they were leveraged through long-term capital, things like this, never anticipated the virus. And so, as this started to hit and the withdrawals from the mutual funds went up, not on the separate accounts side, but on the mutual funds, that gave us good reason to sit on our hands there when it came to doing anything. Furthermore, just to fast run-through on the credit side, said, “Hey, we've got a problem coming here.” Then, as the Fed unleashed their firepower, we decided, “OK, it's pretty clear. Combine that with the pressure from what's called the overnight bid from Asia for long and 10-year call-protected investment grade. Let's get some of these while we can.” Well, that was not a unique thought. And so, the new-issue calendar stepped way up and was met with demand that would exceed the amount of the new issues by 2 and 3 and 4, in one case, 9 times. And so, that kept those spreads in line initially and then the spreads started to widen because the Treasury yields were going down and the bonds recently issued in the investment-grade area were hanging in there at about 102.

You had to ignore spreads and just look at yield and dollar price. And on that basis, there are only a few more, but we bought them and we spent some money on the below-investment-grade side in the secondary market, as there were some cheap bonds being offered because of the outflows from some funds there and, more particularly, from leveraged accounts who are borrowing at short-term rates to buy bonds at a much higher interest rate relative to their cost of borrowing. So, that was time to pay those loans back, and they were looking for bids. And then that became very specific. It wasn't broad for very long. It was very specific. So, we did increase the invested position slightly. On the other hand, we also sold some items that people were looking for.

We are still sitting there in the Bond Fund at roughly 35%. Now, we had outflows during March early on. It's turned around now, and it's going sideways, a couple big days on the inside. And that's pretty much where we're at. So, the average quality of the portfolio because of the Treasuries and the 4% or 5% in the short-term, high-quality corporates is still stuck there at about a Baa1, once a while crossing into A3 territory for the Bond Fund, whereas normally it's a couple notches below that. The maturity structure is now much shorter. The call protection is still pretty good, but I'm pretty nervous about that score, because there were bonds that were selling at 108 or above. I figured that people, even if it has a non-call or a non-refundable for 10 years on it, people are going to start to read the prospectus with a fine-tooth comb to see if there isn’t some way they can call those bonds at a lower price and refinance at lower rates.

Now, this is a lesson I've learned, that I learned back in the late ‘60s and in the 1970s. Pardon me--in the aftermath of that period in '81 down to, say, '91--that was the lesson in reading the fine print in the prospectus. So, that's how we're looking at this. I cannot stress enough that we are dealing with a unique situation and that we've got a lot to learn. I've learned a lot over the years, but this is a new one. It has some similarities to times in the past. But it has a lot of dissimilarities. It's bringing hope that this pressure that was growing between the U.S. and China, maybe this will help in that there's more reason to cooperate and there are enough voices behind that. I've been giving this as a keynote of some of my speeches out to groups, mostly CFAs, but even gave it over in Tokyo. That was the overwhelming problem along with climate change. So, maybe this will help their short term. It's actually helped with climate in this country but will have tremendous social upheaval in the third-world areas. And that's going to require cooperation from the major powers who have just been hit pretty hard themselves.

Benz: How do you rate the relative attractiveness of equity versus convertible bonds versus, say, high-yield bonds in the current climate? And why do you see it that way?

Fuss: High-yield for a couple years, quite frankly, was mostly, not all, but mostly been overpriced. You can say, “Well, that's because the stock market was overpriced.” No, not for that reason. It was just because people that had fixed-income guidelines but wanted to call on the equity wanted to buy the convert. So, they were willing to take a lesser current income. OK. Converts are now getting back. Not all the way there but getting back to something called a reasonable place.

The other area that I think was, in fact, quite attractive, and I understood why people would do it, and to the degree guidelines would allow it in our own fixed-income accounts, we would use a couple of the so-called dividend growth stocks if the yield was high enough at the time and the prospects for the company were more on a steady growth pattern because of what they did and their areas of focus and not growth stocks but growth of dividends. And they were doing well relative to bonds, not as well as growth stocks, but they were doing well.

Now, we're in a new environment. First place, some of those are dealing with a very, very different business outlook, some are not. But even the ones who are not are looking at this and saying, well, OK, if we're in a situation, let's say, we serve the public, let's take AT&T as an example. The dividend growth was minuscule, maybe 1% increase in the dividend each year, but the yield was very high. It was out-yielding Verizon by a couple of percent; it was out-yielding its own debt by a couple of percent and it was creeping slowly up, and they were improving the balance sheet. They were changing the balance between equity and fixed income, building up some equity position, even though they were buying in common stock. So, you look at that and you say, “Well, OK, it's a competitive business, no two ways about it. But now, they're more or less an essential service. They'll take some bruises here and there, but they can certainly maintain that dividend. That's the safe assumption, right?”

Well, now, let's stop and think about that. Yes, I think from an economic viewpoint it is. But what else is going on in the world right now? Let's look at Europe. What's happening to the banks? What's the European Central Bank saying about dividends to common shareholders through this period of time? Oh, dear! What are some of the European banks doing? Well, they're suspending their dividends for the next six months, or the balance of the year. Huh, OK. Now, let's go back and think about our electric utilities and our telephone utilities and so forth where the demand for the service continues, and we serve the public. Is it going to be in everyone's best interest if we increase the dividend? Probably not. Bad PR when people are suffering. In fact, the best PR thing we could do is reduce the charge for what we service, which brings down our revenues, which means the dividend might be a bit in jeopardy.

So, we have that type of worry. And where you have strictly a commercial company not directly serving the public, but you're selling goods to the public on a regular basis, you’re a packaged foods producer, things like that. Are you still for the time being a dividend growth? You know, I don't think so. I think it's going to be very hard for companies out there in the public eye. This is going to make a number of my own clients upset with me. But I do understand that the public perceptions through a period like this are extremely, extremely important for any business, anyone who has common stock outstanding. And I think you have to take that question and apply it to that whole category of otherwise very attractive equities. So, better be sure that you're content with the current yield is I think the best way to go there.

Stocks themselves--you know, the stock market has, in my experience, I've always reacted from some early-on lessons. That is--OK, it looks like it's based on the economic outlook going to go down 10%, 15%, 20% where we are and we're already, we've taken the beating, we're just about there, I'm going to start buying. The one time that didn't work very well was 1974 where I started buying stocks more aggressively. After a real (pure lump) in the first half of '74, this led up to the Nixon resignation. And as that built built built, stocks were going down and down, down. The economy slowed a little tiny bit, but not much. And so, I thought, “OK, it's a good time to start buying,” because we had cash flows into the market coming from the pension side to corporate defined-benefit plans. ERISA had been passed. And we were getting money every single month from clients there. And just about all with mandates, that would be say 70% equities at the limit and 30% bonds. So, we were buying both. And just on a steady basis, knowing that next month another amount was coming.

We are steadily buying into this thing, and--darn it--stocks kept going down, bonds kept going down, clients were getting extremely unhappy. But they were funding the pension. A few clients said, “I don't want you to buy anything other than short-term Treasuries in our pension no matter what the guidelines are.” And then, it stopped on the first Friday of October of 1974 at 9:39 or somewhere around there, the market bottomed. And there was a secondary test a few months later, but that was it for the time being. We got to a bear market later on or a sideways market.

This time with stocks I'm more cautious because I think the damage being done is hard. And I think that the public perceptions of corporations are going to be tested for a while. I think we'll return all right. But I think it's going to take time. So, I am cautious across the board. I think once you get into the, honest to God, real solid growth stocks as they become available at reasonable prices in this, that's another matter, if it's due to technological things over there. And that also applies in some areas of pharmaceuticals. There, I would go along with that, but I think it's otherwise too early.

Ptak: That's helpful. With my closing question, I wanted to touch on another topic, which I don't think we've spent too much time on, which is inflation. Inflation, as we know, has been dormant it seems like forever, though, I think you could well tell us that that hasn't been the case. We're going to have to print money to finance our recent massive outlays, which we'll add to already huge deficits. Economic growth, as we've talked about, is likely to remain sluggish at least in the short term, which is disinflationary. But what happens once a recovery takes hold? Is inflation something that you feel as investors we should be girding for and is that something that you're preparing for at all in the way you're managing money?

Fuss: Mentally, I'm preparing because I think it is a real risk. Now, there are a lot of counter arguments. As you look around the world, some countries have been doing this already and interest rates are not up. And the population growth is slowing, will probably slow a lot. Now, it will take some time. But once you increase the monetary stock beyond a certain point, getting tremendously--I had--the growth of the population even as you're getting economic improvements for the individual members of the population and rising demand for money because of that, nonetheless, you do get to a point. Do I think that in the United States we're going to hit something like the Weimar Republic in the late ‘20s, early ‘30s? No, I don't think so. Do I think some other countries without support will get there? Yes, if they try to deal with it just by themselves. That's why they're asking for help. It could otherwise come in and say, “Hey, listen, we're going to just print money like mad.” That's not a good fallback position, particularly for a smaller country. The real question then becomes, Well, that's all well and good, but what about the U.S.?

And here, I would say that, yeah, inflation is going to come back. At what sort of rate? Don't we have the tools to fight it? Yeah, we do. Would will we be willing to slow the economy again, lean against it? Well, I'm not going to lean against the economy because the problem is our total revenues are far short of our expenses. So, I want the economy to boom. OK, that's understandable. Now, what happens to prices as you do that? Well, no, we can make enough. What about what you pay people to make enough? Well, is the population growing fast? Well, no, it's not. So, you start to get into a situation more like what you had in the ‘50s and ‘60s, and it creeps and then, at some point, it starts to go up faster. I would not anticipate a return to something like the late ‘70s, at least not in the U.S. But it is so hard to isolate ourselves from the rest of the world. We cannot successfully do it. It's not possible.

What we have to do is--our problems aren't just the coronavirus and the reaction in the economies. Our problems have to do with the climate and with the ability to deal with each other on a friendly basis and not have the two major countries in the world, China and the U.S., start lobbing missiles back and forth, because that's game war. So, that's our setting. And it is a global setting. At home, I'm not too worried at this point in time. We'll get through it whether the bottom is at the end of the second quarter or it's in the third quarter or it's out in the fourth. I don't know. Hopefully, it will be sooner than that. Hopefully, we'll be too bearish in our forecast. But that's hope. Right now, reason says, “No, it's going to run longer.” And we'll just have to see.

Ptak: Well, on that note, we'll conclude this conversation. It's been a real privilege to talk to you, Dan. Thank you so much for your time and insights and sharing them with our audience today. We greatly appreciate it.

Fuss: Well, Jeff, you're welcome. And also, thank you, Christine. So, thank you both. I appreciate it.

Benz: Thank you.

Fuss: If you have any other questions or something, you can reach me by my cell phone except when I'm sleeping.

Benz: Thank you so much.

Ptak: Thank you again so much, Mr. Fuss.

Fuss: OK.

Ptak: Thanks for joining us on The Long View. If you liked what you heard, please subscribe to and rate The Long View from Morningstar on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Benz: You can follow us on Twitter @Christine_Benz.

Ptak: And at @Syouth1, which is, S-Y-O-U-T-H and the number 1.

Finally, we'd love to get your feedback. If you have a comment or a guest idea, please email us at TheLongView@Morningstar.com. Until next time, thanks for joining us.

(Disclaimer: This recording is for informational purposes only and should not be considered investment advice. Opinions expressed are as of the date of recording. Such opinions are subject to change. The views and opinions of guests on this program are not necessarily those of Morningstar, Inc. and its affiliates. Morningstar and its affiliates are not affiliated with this guest or his or her business affiliates unless otherwise stated. Morningstar does not guarantee the accuracy, or the completeness of the data presented herein. Jeff Ptak is an employee of Morningstar Research Services LLC. Morningstar Research Services is a subsidiary of Morningstar, Inc. and is registered with and governed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Morningstar Research Services shall not be responsible for any trading decisions, damages or other losses resulting from or related to the information, data analysis or opinions or their use. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. All investments are subject to investment risk, including possible loss of principal. Individuals should seriously consider if an investment is suitable for them by referencing their own financial position, investment objectives and risk profile before making any investment decision.)

Christine Benz does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.