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Todd Harrison: A Conversation With Raymond James' Jeff Saut!


One of the best shares his investment views.


Editor's Note: Todd posts his vibes in real time each day on our Buzz & Banter.

Three days before Festivus and all through the fort, the critters are jazzed 'cause we're here with Jeff Saut!

I've made no secret of my longstanding affection and respect for the savvy soothsaying Mr. Saut, who spends his time as the Chief Investment Strategist for the venerable Raymond James Financial (NYSE:RJF).

Jeff has never missed a Minyanville event, sans MIM1 in Crested Butte in 2004, and I look forward to cutting a rug with him and the missus on Friday night. (Click here to join us; it's all for the kids!)

Below is a sampling of our breakfast discussion, which toggled between our personal updates and professional views.

Todd: Jeff, you gotta take into year-end?

Jeff: Yeah, I think we see a Santa rally due to a staged-in resolution of the cliff; we'll see some concessions on the upper-income tax dynamic and the rest will be pushed into January.

Todd: You speak with a ton of fund managers; what's your sense in terms of performance anxiety into year-end?

Jeff: Everyone I speak with in Europe (two weeks ago) and here (more recently) is praying that the markets go down so their underperformance and cash doesn't look so bad.

Todd: So is it safe to say that the buyers are higher and the sellers are lower, or are you saying the buyers are higher and the buyers are also lower?

Jeff: If the market doesn't go down, we'll long squeeze into year-end as fund managers chase the market higher.

Todd: Any particular sectors or names that you're particularly digging?

Jeff: I like the tower stocks because your computer will eventually be an Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone or other smartphone device. I refer to it "real estate in the sky."

Todd: Any names?

Jeff: American Tower (NYSE:AMT) and SBA Communications (NASDAQ:SBAC). I also like the obesity plays...

Todd: Hey, that would explain why we're such good friends!

Jeff: the baby boomers age, these investments will pay off. There was a recent report from the Mayo Clinic that said if you smoke in your later years, you're health-care costs will go up by 20% per year but if you're obese, they'll go up by 50% per year because of all the ancillary diseases like diabetes.

Todd: And the best way to play obesity, other than shorting Hostess?

Jeff: Davita (NYSE:DVA) and Dexcom (NASDAQ:DXCM).

Todd: Thoughts on Europe? I know you spend a lot of time there…

Jeff: No recession; trains were packed, stores were packed, restaurants were packed...with a lot of obese people!

Todd: Any sectors to avoid?

Jeff: Consumer staples, which I view as the new utility sector for investors; and interestingly enough, utility stocks have become the new fixed income investment. That's kinda fun, eh?

Todd: Yeah, if that's your idea of fun! But hey, you always make these types of dicsussions interesting and engaging, and I'll tell you flat out that I wish I played more of your ideas over the last decade or so that we've been tight; there's a reason I call you "As Good As It Gets!"

Jeff: You're too kind.

Todd: Thanks for your time, my brother, and I look forward to bellying-up Friday night on behalf of the kids!


Twitter: @todd_harrison

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Jeff Saut may have positions in DVA, DXCM, AMT and SBAC.
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