"Top Fidelity stockpicker: Financial markets are ‘colossally artificial"

Fidelity’s Joel Tillinghast, one of the mutual fund industry’s best stockpickers over the past 20 years, said financial markets are “colossally artificial”...

“I think it’s colossally artificial, but I don’t see it ending,” said Mr. Tillinghast, who runs the $46-billion (U.S.) Low-Priced Stock Fund for Fidelity Investments in Boston. He made his remarks on Friday in a rare interview.

Mr. Tillinghast pointed to unprecedented central bank intervention around the globe over the past 10 years in the form of quantitative easing, which has resulted in government bonds with negative yields in countries such as Germany, Switzerland and Denmark.

...Mr. Tillinghast made it clear he is not making any prediction about when the market’s bubble will burst. In fact, he said he is bad at forecasting. Before he joined Fidelity, he worked as a research economist at Drexel Burnham Lambert, the Wall Street firm famous for high yield or “junk” bonds, which went bankrupt in 1990.

“I sucked at it,” he said.

So he is not saying when the artificial market, as he describes it, will end.

“How long can we party with our bad selves?” Mr. Tillinghast asked. “You want to know so you can party on until” five minutes before it ends...


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