Nov. 20 - This week Reuters has been talking to some of the great minds of the markets. From Chanos to Icahn, they talk about investments they love, hate and what they're watching. Jeanne Yurman reports.
As the end of the year approaches we're pausing to take account of some of the investment winners and losers. So we sat down with some of the greatest minds in money to hash out some of their big ideas. With a nearly 25 percent gain so far this year, caution on U.S. equities was repeated many times. Activist investor Carl Icahn: CARL ICAHN, CHAIRMAN, ICAHN ENTERPRISES (ENGLISH) SAYING: "I'm bearish on the market at this point, I'm sort of negative on the market. I'm not saying rampantly bearish but negative." And well known short seller Jim Chanos warns investors should be on their guard: JIM CHANOS, FOUNDER, KYNIKOS ASSOCIATES (ENGLISH) SAYING: "We're at a time right now where people are beginning to get a lot more ebullient and aggressive and are starting to do silly things with their money." Influential investors are also wary of ongoing political dysfunction in Washington impacting the markets as well as possibly slower global growth. Amid the caution, however, many say there's still plenty of opportunity. While they're broadly cautious on U.S. equities, individual companies are still promising investments. Avenue Capital's Marc Lasry owns a big stake in JC Penney debt. SOUNDBITE: MARC LASRY, CHAIRMAN & CEO, AVENUE CAPITAL(ENGLISH) SAYING: "What you find is that there's always problems and there's always companies that end up having issues. So the fact that you can invest in a company like J.C. Penney kind of in the low 60's we sort of think you're getting overpaid for risk like that." Given hefty cash balances and an open credit market, Collins Alternative Solutions Fund's Steve Mason says companies where activists are involved are worth a look. STEVE MASON, MANAGER, COLLINS ALTERNATIVE SOLUTIONS FUND (ENGLISH) SAYING: "You have boards that are receptive to constructive dialogue from activist investors And despite a recent stall in the U.S. housing market, those like Bonnie Baha of Doubleline capital think real estate related investments can offer smart returns BONNIE BAHA, FIXED INCOME MANAGER, DOUBLELINE CAPITAL (ENGLISH) SAYING: "We still think there are opportunity sets there, non agency backed mortgage securities. Again an area where Doubleline has been most famous - still invested there as well. But that's where we're still finding opportunities for fixed income investors today along with our equity product offerings." Many of the investors' outlooks like Baha's factor in still low interest rates, which hinge on Fed moves in 2014.