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Mohamed El-Erian: 'We Did Not Prepare for Something as Severe as What We’re Facing’

Allianz’s chief economic advisor on how to address economic 'sudden stops,' the correct fiscal and monetary policy response to the coronavirus, and the outlook ahead.

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Our guest today is Dr. Mohamed El-Erian. El-Erian is chief economic advisor at Allianz, the parent of Pimco, where he formerly served as chief executive and co-chief investment officer, and president-elect of Queens’ College, Cambridge University. He first joined Pimco in 1999 and was a senior member of Pimco's portfolio management and investment strategy group. He rejoined the company at the end of 2007 after serving for two years as president and CEO of Harvard Management Company.

Before coming to Pimco, El-Erian was a managing director at Salomon Smith Barney/Citigroup in London and before that spent 15 years at the International Monetary Fund in Washington, D.C., where he served as deputy director. El-Erian has served on numerous boards and committees, including a stint as chair of President Obama’s Global Development Council from December 2012 to January 2017.

A much sought-after author, columnist, and speaker, El-Erian has published two best-selling and critically acclaimed books, When Markets Collide and The Only Game in Town: Central Banks, Instability, and Avoiding the Next Collapse. He also was named to Foreign Policy magazine's list of "Top 100 Global Thinkers" four years in a row, among other accolades.

El-Erian holds a master’s degree and doctorate in economics from Oxford University and received his undergraduate degree from Cambridge University.

BackgroundDr. Mohamed El-Erian bioDr. El-Erian's commentaryDr. El-Erian's tv and radio interviewsThe Only Game in Town: Central Banks, Instability, and Avoiding the Next Collapse, by Mohamed El-Erian, January 2016. • When Markets Collide, by Mohamed El-Erian, June 2008. • "The FP Top 100 Global Thinkers," Foreign Policy, Nov. 26, 2012. • Dr. El-Erian's Twitter handle @elerianm

Dr. El-Erian's Recent Comments on COVID-19 • "The Coming Coronavirus Recession: And the Uncharted Territory Beyond," Foreign Affairs, March 17, 2020. • "The Federal Reserve Takes its Crisis Management Game Up Several Notches: El-Erian," Yahoo Finance, March 17, 2020, • "It Will Get Better, but After We Feel Even More Unsettled: El-Erian," Yahoo Finance, March 13, 2020. • "Six Things Investors Should Remember Amid Extreme Stock Market Volatility: El-Erian," Yahoo Finance; March 8, 2020. • "El-Erian: We Shouldn't Bail Out Every Industry Halted by Coronavirus Crisis," CNBC, March 19, 2020. • "El-Erian: Fed Should Have Been More 'Laser-Focused' on Market Failures," CNBC, March 16, 2020. • "El-Erian on Markets: 'It's Getting Less Scary Than It Has Been for a While," CNBC, March 13, 2020. • "El-Erian: US Stock Market Could End Up Dropping 20%-30% Before Bottom Is Finally Reached," CNBC, March 9, 2020.


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

For this special bonus episode, I'll be conducting the interview solo. My colleague Christine Benz will be back for our next regularly scheduled episode on Wednesday.

Our guest today is Dr. Mohamed El-Erian. Dr. El-Erian is chief economic advisor at Allianz, the parent of Pimco, where he formerly served as chief executive and co-chief investment officer and President elect of Queens' College, Cambridge University. He first joined Pimco in 1999 and was a senior member of Pimco’s portfolio management and investment strategy group. He rejoined the company at the end of 2007, after serving for two years as president and CEO of Harvard Management Company. Before coming to Pimco, Dr. El-Erian was a managing director at Salomon Smith Barney/Citigroup in London and before that spent 15 years at the International Monetary Fund in Washington, D.C., where he served as Deputy Director. Dr. El-Erian has served on numerous boards and committees, including a stint as chair of President Obama's Global Development Council from December 2012 to January 2017. A much sought-after author, columnist and speaker Dr. El-Erian has published two best-selling and critically acclaimed books "When Markets Collide" and "The Only Game in Town: Central Banks, Instability, and Avoiding the Next Collapse". He also was named to Foreign Policy's list of Top 100 Global Thinkers four years in a row among other accolades. Dr. El-Erian holds a master's degree and doctorate in economics from Oxford University and received his undergraduate degree from Cambridge University.

Dr. El-Erian, welcome to The Long View.

Dr. Mohamed El-Erian: Thank you for having me.

Ptak: The market and economic backdrop have changed drastically in what seems like no time. You've been prescient in foreseeing some of the impacts of COVID-19. But what has surprised you thus far, either economically or in terms of impacts to the financial system?

El-Erian: Well, it's been a lot that has surprised me like others. I understood the general theme, which is one that I have been stressing for quite a few months now, which is, don't underestimate how economic sudden stops spreads through a system. They are very unfamiliar to people who have not lived in fragile and failed states, who have not gone through a big natural disaster, because they bring everything to a halt. They destroy supply and demand simultaneously. And the result of that is that things break down quickly. And it starts small, as it did in this case in one province in China. People don't pay much attention, but it spreads, and it reaches critical mass, which is what has happened in the global economy.

Ptak: We've heard you say that financial sudden stops are more addressable than economic sudden stops. Can you explain why that's so – why the latter is so much harder to deal with and how that pertains to the current situation? You mentioned that demand and supply have fallen off. So, I would imagine that's one of the things that makes this sudden stop so unique.

El-Erian: So, yes, ironically, financial sudden stops, while they happen instantaneously and they seem catastrophic, are easy to identify and easier to address. Easy to identify because it's like a major heart attack. It happens. You have to respond quickly to it. It doesn't come up from behind. It doesn't sneak up on you, like economic sudden stops do. And then, the second thing about a financial sudden stop is it basically boils down to counterparty and it boils down to which counterparty can you trust? So, in 2008, which was a classic financial sudden stop, banks didn't trust each other. And with that, the payments and settlement system was crippled. But there is one balance sheet that everybody will trust because it has a printing press in the basement, and that is the Federal Reserve. So, the Federal Reserve could insert itself in the counterparty breakdown, fix that market failure, and then the system slowly restarts.

Economic sudden stops are very different. They sneak up on you. They reach critical mass before you realize what's going on. And then, dealing with the underlying source is very difficult. In this case, it's a health issue. So, stimulus policy, which is the equivalent of the central bank intervention in the case of financial sudden stops, stimulus policy does not work. No matter what tax break you give to people, no matter how cheap the loans are, no matter how much cash is in their pocket from refinancing their mortgages, this will not let them go out and spend, they will wait. You can help with the balance sheets. You can protect people that way. But unfortunately, you cannot reactivate economic activity until the health issue is addressed.

Ptak: And so, I do want to drill down into what you think the correct policy response is. But before we do that, public health concerns are trumping economic realities at the moment. For instance, entire states are being told to shelter in place, which is economically devastating. Do you think this is prudent policy without a stimulus package or backstop of some kind?

El-Erian: I don't think we have a choice. I think that the only way you can contain and counter this virus is by denying it of the oxygen it needs to spread and the oxygen it needs is people, people's contact. And unless we do that, our health system will be completely overwhelmed. The experience of Italy is an incredibly sobering one. And we do not want to be there. So, this notion of having to flatten the curve is really important. And you cannot flatten the curve until you use these mandatory social distancing. Now, the hope is that we will develop a vaccine that increases immunity, and that we never have to do this again. But for this wave of the coronavirus, I don't see any other alternative.

And people put health in front of everything else. I'll give you a very simple example. Well, before we were mandated in California to stay home, the person who cuts my hair who I've been going to for decades, called and said, Look, I am staying home. And I said, Why? And the person said, I'm scared. I'm scared. I am in the vulnerable age group and I'm scared. And I said, what about your income. And she said, I put my health ahead of my income. And that's the reality. So, people were doing it in an ad hoc fashion. We're now doing it in a more organized fashion.

Ptak: You've argued that interest rate cuts and broad fiscal stimulus shouldn't be emphasized during this initial phase of the crisis. I think you've already alluded to that, that we should instead focus on containment and building immunity to COVID-19. That seems somewhat surprising considering the scores of those who have been abruptly laid off or seen business strata. So, I guess the question is, what should they do without a massive immediate stimulus during this period of time when you would favor other sort of measures or policy prescriptions.

El-Erian: I've differentiated between monetary policy and fiscal policy. I've argued that monetary policies should aim at addressing market failures. And the most efficient way of doing that is by targeting them directly. And that's why the series of emergency funding windows that have been introduced for commercial paper, for the money market sector and others are absolutely essential. I've argued that cutting interest rates now will not do very much, that the time will come to provide an interest rate cut. But let's not use the scarce tool we have right now. And as you see, the 150 basis points cut actually got a thumbs down from the marketplace, a thumbs down despite that. Because people realize very quickly that low interest rates are not going to help with the two things you need to do right now. They're not going to reactivate economic activity, because people are scared. And secondly, they're not going to do much on your mortgage bill or anything else because it's a much bigger problem. So, monetary policy should be focused on ensuring that market malfunctions don't reverse contaminate the real economy.

Fiscal policy is different. And what fiscal policy can do is help people through this economic sudden stop, help support their balance sheets, make sure that they can afford the payments or as we're seeing increasingly, press pause on certain payments, so that people can manage, protect the most strategic sectors of our economy, including health and importantly, make sure that when we restart this economy, liquidity problems haven't turned into solvency issues. Fiscal policy can be incredibly effective in all that. Low interest rates will not do much.

Ptak: Maybe building on your comments on fiscal policy, one of the vexing choices that fiscal policymakers are facing is how to deliver stimulus to the different affected segments of the economy. I'm thinking of the suddenly unemployed, the small business owner, lender, airline and hospitality sectors, the state or municipality, the list is seemingly endless. Is there an approach – I know there's not a single overarching approach to address each one of those constituencies – but is there a fiscal approach that you think is particularly advisable in the current environment?

El-Erian: I think you're going to need lots and lots of different approaches. You're going to have to learn as you go along, you're going to have to be open to feedback. Because a lot of the transmission mechanisms, a lot of the pipes we need are not in place. We did not prepare, understandably, for something that is as severe as what we're facing. A global economic sudden stop was unthinkable. There will be some really difficult choices to make. So, you spoke about all the people that are going to be needing essentially, let's call them, bailouts. We're going to need principles to govern who gets and who does not get bailouts because the line is going to be very long.

There was a mistake initially to think of the airline industry as the exception. Yes, they are going through a hard time, but they are the exception. No. Every single segment in the economy, except for a handful, will go through the demand and supply destruction that the airline industry has gone through. Already the rental car companies have approached the government for a bailout. We're going to have more and more of this. So, it's important that the government figures out very early on what are the technocratic principles that are going to govern why we're bailing out, who we're bailing out, when, on what terms and what's the exit strategy. Because unless you have a technocratic baseline, the politics will take over and you're going to end up by creating so many precedents that's going to be very difficult to manage.

Ptak: I did want to turn our attention to capital markets. We've obviously seen stocks enter a steep sell-off, but the bond market is also broken down in certain fundamental ways. Can you describe for some of our listeners who may not be as familiar with the inner workings or dynamic of the bond market, certainly not as familiar as you are given your proximity to it, what has happened there, why and what will stem that instability?

Dr. El-Erian: So, what has happened is that people are unable to do what they want to do. And when you're not able to do what you want to do, in the financial markets, you're often forced to do something. So, let me give you an example. I take money out of a mutual fund, let's call it, a high-yield bond mutual fund because I'm worried or because I need cash. The act of me taking out money forces my fund manager to raise cash. In order to raise cash, the fund manager will have to sell something. Now, that fund manager typically knows what they want to sell. However, when markets are under stress, you're not able sometimes to sell what you want to sell. So, you end up selling whatever you can sell. Because the last thing you want to do as a fund manager, is to tell me, your investor, that I can't get my cash back. Because once you do that, the damage to your business is very big. So, the fund manager will end up selling whatever they can sell.

That results in a number of unintended consequences. First, it takes the pressure that was supposed to be in one segment to something else, selling pressure contaminates something else, that's called contagion. The second, it results in the fund manager having a portfolio that is actually now different from what they really want. So, they didn't have to think of how am I going to adjust to the fact that I have been forced into a situation which I don't like. Third, it puts enormous pressure on the value of the fund, which means that others are going to start looking and worrying. And next thing you know, you're cascading the self-feeding mechanisms.

So, the reason why people worry about the functioning of markets as opposed to the level of asset prices is that they are worried about all the self-feeding dynamics that can spread disruption. Why did we get there? We've come from a period where investors were living the dream, as I call it. Look at 2019. Despite sluggish economic and corporate fundamentals, the S&P was up 30%. More risky assets were up even more. At the very same time that that happened, you also made money on U.S. government bonds. So, you made money on the risky stuff and you made money on the risk-free stuff. That is not supposed to happen. And at the same time, volatility was very, very low. And what that tells you is that the marketplace has been conditioned to care about only one thing to the exclusion of everything else. And that is central bank liquidity, particularly the predictable and ample injection of central bank liquidity. The result of that is the market underappreciated liquidity risk, credit risk and equity risk. And we're now unfortunately reversing all three.

Ptak: You mentioned the word contagion. Earlier this week, I think following the Fed's emergency rate cut, you were seeing signs of financial contagion. I think, in your words, you were seeing solid red lights across the board. As the week has progressed, have you seen signs that the market has stabilized, thanks in part to some of the measures that the Fed has introduced to supplement the rate cuts that it had done earlier in the month?

El-Erian: The rate cuts came on Sunday, the big one, the 100 basis points, the one before came the Wednesday before.

Ptak: Right.

El-Erian: The market pressures started two days before the first rate cut. They started in the credit market. They then went to the inflation market. They went to the muni market. Then they went to the treasury market, the biggest of all markets and the most important. The rate cuts didn't do anything to alleviate these pressures and they shouldn't be expected to do much to do it. What has helped enormously is the series of more targeted measures that were introduced the following Tuesday. And we have started to see a reduction in stress. But it is a race. It is a race between financial deleveraging, which leads to stress, and policy intervention with emergency funding vehicles that reduces stress. So, in general, the stress level is lower. It's not yet gone. And every day, depending on which minute you look at – literally which minute to look at, one or the other is ahead in this race. That is going to continue, unfortunately, until the underlying flows are back to an equilibrium. And we have seen massive outflows, massive outflows of numbers that were again unsinkable, especially in investment grade.

Ptak: And what do you think – you used the term equilibrium – what do you think is going to be that point of equilibrium where investors are less fearful, and they're not selling at the first side and try to liquefy, that they're actually sticking with their investments and it's reducing the stress that you described before?

El-Erian: I think what we really need in a perfect world is a solution to containment of the virus, treating illness well, and increasing immunity. That is a permanent solution. Because without that we don't get an economic bottom and without an economic bottom, we will create long-term damage to the structure of our economy. So, the key issue is health. That is what stabilizes it in a sustainable manner. In the short term, there's potentially two stabilizers, one that is good and one that is less good. The good one is that the central banks and other financial regulators are able to pinpoint where the stress is and are able to provide ample emergency interventions. That would help a lot. That will build the bridge over the turbulent waters of the real economy. That's the desired way to stabilize this.

The less desirable way of stabilizing this are market overshoots, that you get very sharp reduction in market values, so sharp that people with cash available – and there are many people on the sidelines with cash available – that people with cash available, see that the balance of risk is clearly on the upside because prices have overshot. Those who have worked in emerging markets have seen that dynamic over and over again, because that asset class is structurally weak. So, it overshoots on the way up, it overshoots on the way down. And I'm afraid that if our policymakers don't win this race – I hope they win and I'm cheering for them to win – if they don't win this race, what's going to happen is that the financial markets will find their own equilibrium but by overshooting first in a way that attracts the dry capital that's on the sideline right now.

Ptak: You wrote that one of the lasting consequences of novel coronavirus will be accelerating de-globalization and de-regionalization. Global supply chain management and trade interconnection has been the dominant trend in recent decades. Why would we retreat from that? And how will that be felt in the real economy and daily life in the future?

El-Erian: What people have realized, especially people with global supply chains, what they've realized is as efficient as they are and as cost effective as they are, they are not as resilient as they thought they were. The conventional wisdom was first shocked by the trade war. The trade war, which was unthinkable. How could the U.S., the champion of free trade, become the most protectionist advanced economy? But it became that, and it opened up the possibility in future of weaponizing economic tools much more. That was the first shock, if you like, to the conventional wisdom that it's all about efficient cost-effective supply lines.

The second shock, which makes the first one pale in comparison, is the coronavirus shock, where you simply can't get things moving, you can't manage inventory. And that is making people think a lot more about resilience. How do I build in resilience into my system? And part of building in the resilience is having more of your supply chain wiped close to you, even if that is more costly. We are going to see, unfortunately, a dynamic that you often see in the insurance market, which is that when the shock hits, after the shock, people over-insure and if they cannot over-insure collectively, i.e., if there isn't an insurance company that pulls their risks, sometimes there isn't after a huge natural disaster, but if there isn't one, they will self-insure. So, we will see the self-insurance behavior more which will mean a de-globalization of supply chains.

Ptak: To this point, while COVID-19 has been deemed a global pandemic, its impacts have been mostly northern hemispheric. What do you think the implications of the virus spreading to the southern hemisphere over the balance of the year will be on trade markets and so forth?

El-Erian: I think the first implication will be even more tragic human tolls. Because the minute you go from the northern hemisphere to the southern hemisphere, you deal with a lot of countries whose health infrastructure is really weak. Every day I get up and I check the numbers, and I look at Latin America, is it spreading in Africa, because if it spreads there, and I so hope it doesn't. But if it spreads there, the human suffering is going to be enormous, absolutely enormous, because the healthcare system will be overwhelmed very early on. It will make Italy look less bad than what Italy really is right now.

In terms of economic and financial consequences, it will reinforce the breakdown of global trade and supply chains. It will also make people revisit the investment theme of developing countries, always grow faster. So, you should always allocate to developing countries. I've been warning for three years now that we have to be careful that as we enter a more fragile landscape economically and financially, we have to remember that emerging markets don't have the resilience of markets. So, every year for the last three years people – one of the major investment recommendation was to fade the U.S. equities because they have done so well, they've outperformed the rest of the world by so much, which they have and move into international markets and move into emerging markets. And I said over and over again, there's a reason why you should not do this now. It's about resilience. The time will come when you should fade U.S. equities in favor of international exposures. But we're not there yet. And I think that what's going to happen now is people are going to realize that investing in less developed areas comes with a host of risks that one of which is less structural resilience.

Ptak: Maybe at this point, in our closing moments, we'll shift our gaze forward and talk about outlook. About a week ago, I think you said you expected the stock market to decline 30% from its highs. At the time, it was down around 19% or so. We've seen the market fall another 10 percentage points since then, putting it down almost 30% entering today from the high. Have you revised your view? And do you feel the sell-off has largely played itself out at this point? Or do you think that there's still potential downside risk?

El-Erian: The timing was – in early February, I warned against buying at the dip because we had a dip, we had a first dip on the coronavirus, and I warned against buying at the dip. I acknowledge that this was a strategy that had worked very well. But I use that phrase I hate using, everybody hates for using the marketplace, this is different, and explaining why the economics of sudden stops are different. And at that time, I said look for a 20% to 30% retracement from the highs. And then, I was asked what happens when you there? I said, you reassess. And Squawk Box has a timeline of the conversations.

So, I've reassessed. And this market now is attractive for a very small subset of investors. And they tend to be professional investors. They're attractive if you are into distress credit. There are lots of names that have been hit hard and will be needing distressed financing that actually have good business models and are viable. It is interesting for if you're into structured credit, there's a lot of collateral around, and companies urgently needing liquidity. So, you could do structured credit. There's a ton of relative value if you have an ability and willingness to go through a lot of volatility. But that is a small subset. And most retail investors cannot access these opportunities. So, this is certainly a market for people who can access these opportunities and know what they're doing. I don't put myself in that group to be clear, but I have friends who do it really, really well.

But it's not yet a market for the retail investors to just go out and buy the index. And it's certainly not a place to go buy the index in credit. Because when you buy the index in credit, you are buying names that are represented there because of the amount of debt they have issued. And if they are facing liquidity problems that can become solvency problems, they can default. And an index doesn't differentiate on the basis of how strong balance sheets are. It differentiates on the basis of how much debt they've issued. So, debt goes from being a good measure of the size of the market, relative and absolute to being a measure of vulnerability. So, I tell people, especially if you're buying into emerging market bonds, if you're buying into emerging market corporates, if you're buying into high-yield bonds, be careful by simply buying index because you're underwriting a lot of default risk. And default risk means that your mistake is not recoverable. Most mistakes that people make in the investment world are we comfortable over time, default is not.

Ptak: I want to respect your time, Dr. El-Erian. I do have one final closing question. Most of our listeners are individual investors to advisors who diversify their assets widely across asset classes and styles often using index funds and ETFs. I think that you've already sounded a warning about certain types of index funds in certain segments of the market. But more broadly as they think about the structure of their portfolio and how they allocate capital, any other parting words of advice or perspectives that you can share about how they might want to think about the way they're positioned knowing that sort of like the traditional sort of stereotypical portfolio might be 60% U.S, 40% U.S bonds or perhaps they work some international in there as well.

El-Erian: I would say, you know, a lot of the conventional wisdom investment remains valid. And one of the things that individual investors has to be careful of is the extremes. Behavioral scientists and behavioral finance people will tell you that when you take investors out of their comfort zone, and we are being taken out of our comfort zone in so many ways, not just in terms of what we are seeing happen to our investments, but also in terms of what we're seeing happen to ourselves, the whole range of normal daily life has come to a halt. So, we are way out of our comfort zone. There tends to be two reactions that are particularly pronounced in the financial markets, either paralysis or an overreaction. And it is critical for the individual investors to understand that it is natural to feel unsettled. It is natural to feel uncertain, it's the reality we are living in, and to fight that tendency to either completely be paralyzed or overreact.

You need a few principles to guide you. And you need to ask yourself two questions and they are critical questions. One is, I know that in this uncertain world that no one can predict the likelihood of mistakes has gone up. No one wants to make a mistake. But the likelihood of making a mistake has gone up. Which mistake can I least afford to make? Because that goes back to my earlier point that most mistakes are recoverable. We discovered that in 2008. So, the question is, which mistake can I not afford to make? That's a question that every investor should be asking themselves when they look at their asset allocation. And it speaks to their tolerance for risk, their tolerance for volatility and also, what is the time span they think of in terms of their investments. So, that's the first set of questions that each individual investor has to ask; not what will go well for me, but which mistakes can I not afford to make.

Once you've answered that question, then to guide your decision by what I call regret minimization. You will face trade-offs. You will face trade-offs of do I leave money on the table or do I protect my portfolio? Do I sell when prices have gone down so much or do I wait till I get a bounce? And these questions can only be answered at the individual level. But ask yourself the regret minimization. If I end up making a mistake, which again, I don't want to make, but if I end up making a mistake, which mistake will I regret less.

I have found having managed other people's money, which is a massive responsibility, through very, very turbulent markets in emerging markets that these two simple guidelines, if you like, can help navigate and simplify what is an enormous complexity. The average person out there – to give you a parting image – the average person out there is not just trying to drink from one firehose. They are trying to drink from a suite of firehoses. One firehose has all the information that's bombarding them every day about the market, their portfolios, and people seeing things they've never seen, the fastest correction in history, the biggest outflows from mutual funds and investment grade, somethings we've never seen. It's literally a firehose of information about markets, your portfolio. Then there's a second firehose, which is what's happening to our daily lives. Can we go out? Can we interact? Can I find supplies? And we're having to internalize this second firehose of information about fundamentals, what's going on in the economy. And the third firehose, if two weren't enough, is policies. Literally, every hour, we have yet another emergency policy intervention. It's hard enough to drink out of one firehose. It is virtually impossible to drink out of three firehoses So, simplifying things to make them actionable can help a lot. And then, the time will come to go back to a paradigm when we can actually take in all this information that's around us.

Ptak: Well, this has been wonderful El-Erian. We know how extremely busy you are these days. Thanks so much for taking the time to share your valuable insights with our audience. We really appreciate it.

El-Erian: Thank you very much. I really appreciate the conversation. I wish everybody is well in this unusually uncertain and extraordinary unsettling time.

Ptak: Thank you again.

El-Erian: Bye-bye. Thank you.

Ptak: Bye-bye.

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(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.)

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