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Bill Gross gives his first investment outlook for Janus fund

October 9, 2014, 8:37 PM UTC
Bill Gross, co-chief investment officer of Pacific Investmen
UNITED STATES - MAY 28: Bill Gross, co-chief investment officer of Pacific Investment Management Co., speaks at the Morningstar Investment Conference luncheon in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., on Thursday, May 28, 2009. Gross said U.S. Treasury yields rose yesterday because of an oversupply of government debt. (Photo by Tim Boyle/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Photograph by Tim Boyle — Bloomberg/Getty Images

Bill Gross, the renowned bond fund manger, struck a pessimistic chord in his first note to investors at his new gig at Janus Capital. His notes, usually full of silly commentary and upbeat advice, took a darker turn Thursday.

“I have the following tough love advice–somewhat resembling the counsel given to me in recent weeks: there is a new financial era,” wrote Gross. “Accept it and modify your behavior accordingly, so that your future is safe, secure, and you look forward to a brighter tomorrow.”

Investors can no longer count on the days of double-digit growth, Gross expects bond yields closer to 3% to 4% at best and stock gains of 5% to 6%. Despite the gloomy outlook, Gross promised there would be “smooth sailing” under his leadership.

His added commentary came when he appeared Thursday in a webcast with Janus CEO Richard Weil, expanding on his introductory note to Janus Global Unconstrained Bond fund investors that was released shortly after the presentation.

His remarks veered from the market-only focus of his typical notes to reflecting on recent events that led him to leave Pimco, the firm he founded, and join Janus (JNS).

“I would have stayed to my last breath,” he wrote. “But slowly and with great hesitation, I came to understand that it was time for me to leave.”

The change, on the positive side, allows Gross to focus more wholly on the investment strategy and less on executive duties, which had been an issue in recent years as negative headlines proliferated concerning his management style.

Gross’ hasty exit from Pimco shook up the bond world, sending money bleeding out of Pimco funds and into other ones.

Gross’ former Pimco Total Return fund saw nearly $23.5 billion in outflows last month, while his new Janus fund brought in $66.4 million over that same time period, according to Morningstar. Other funds also benefited from the shake up–Metropolitan West Total Return Fund was one of the early winners with $1.5 billion of in-flows last month.

The Janus Global Unconstrained Bond fund still remains “tiny” compared to Gross’ former fund, which was worth over $200 billion at one point. But, Gross takes an optimistic tone.

“That opens the door to a lot of new strategies and opportunities to generate outperformance for my new (and hopefully man continuing) clients,” he wrote.