Paul Tudor Jones speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 21, 2020.
Adam Galica | CNBC
Billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones said the environment for investors is worse than ever as the Federal Reserve is raising interest rates when financial conditions have already become increasingly tight.
“You can’t think of a worse environment than where we are right now for financial assets,” Jones said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” Tuesday. “Clearly you don’t want to own bonds and stocks.”
The Fed is expected to announce a half-percentage point increase in its benchmark interest rate on Wednesday, to tamp down surging inflation at a 40-year high.
The founder and chief investment officer of Tudor Investment Corp. believes that investors are now in “uncharted territory” as the central bank had only eased monetary policy during past economic slowdowns and financial crises. He said investors should prioritize capital preservation in such a challenging environment for “virtually anything.”
“I think we’re in one of those very difficult periods where simply capital preservation is I think the most important thing we can strive for,” Jones said. “I don’t know if it’s going to be one of those periods where you’re actually trying to make money.”
Many on Wall Street have grown more concerned that the central bank could tip the economy, still in the middle of a pandemic, into recession with aggressive tightening to control soaring prices.
“They’ve got inflation on the one hand, slowing growth on the other, and they’re going to be clashing all the time,” Jones said.
With extreme volatility ahead, the longtime trader said he would consider owning trend-following strategies, which often use algorithmic models to identify price trends in markets.
“If there was a strategy that I would want to employ right now, if someone put a gun to my head, I’d say simple trend-following strategies,” Jones said. “They are not too popular today… They will probably do very well in the next five to 10 years.”
Jones shot to fame after he predicted and profited from the 1987 stock market crash. He is also the chairman of nonprofit Just Capital, which ranks public U.S. companies based on social and environmental metrics.