Goldman Says Rush From Stocks to Cash, Bonds Biggest Since 2008
A collection of U.S. one-hundred dollar bills sit on a black background in this arranged photograph in Hong Kong, China. (Photographer: Paul Yeung/Bloomberg)

Goldman Says Rush From Stocks to Cash, Bonds Biggest Since 2008

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(Bloomberg) -- The outflow from U.S. equity funds this year has been the biggest since 2008, relative to the flood of money into cash and bonds, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

That still leaves cash exposures “near historical lows,” according to Goldman strategists led by David Kostin. At 12%, the aggregate allocation to cash is only in the fifth percentile of the past 30 years, they calculated.

“High uncertainty, investor fears of a recession, and low starting cash allocations will likely limit a significant increase in equity allocations” in 2020, the Goldman team wrote in an Oct. 25 note.

Just like this year, corporate demand will be the top source of U.S. equity buying in 2020, Goldman projected. While buybacks may drop, net demand is still seen as strong thanks to diminished initial public offerings and a rise in cash-based mergers and acquisitions. Households and foreign investors will also be net buyers, while pension funds keep whittling down their allocation, as they have since 2009, Goldman said.

Goldman Says Rush From Stocks to Cash, Bonds Biggest Since 2008

Among the bank’s 2020 forecasts:

  • Net corporate purchases for U.S. equities will total $470 billion in 2020, down 2% from this year
  • Foreign investors will buy a net $50 billion
  • Households will add a net $30 billion
  • Purchases by exchange-traded funds will be a net $150 billion, less than the five-year average of $220 billion

American stock funds have seen $100 billion of outflows so far in 2019, on pace for the second-largest drawdown in 15 years, with actively managed mutual funds seeing a $217 billion exodus, according to data compiled by Goldman. Bonds have enjoyed a $353 billion inflow, while cash has seen a $436 billion influx, the Goldman analysis showed.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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