Ed Keon's About-Face On Stocks/Bonds Weighting

by: Roger Nusbaum

Roger Nusbaum submits: Did you see that [Prudential strategist] Ed Keon reduced his equity weight from 100% down to 55%?

I can't recall Mr. Keon being correct very often. I do not know if this call he is making represents a change in his very bullish outlook for 2006. I did not know his model portfolio was at 100% in equities. 100% might be right a given individual but I seriously doubt it is the proper allocation for the client base of a major brokerage firm.

Going from 100% down to 55% all at once is a drastic move for several reasons. First trying to time a top, which I view this type of reduction as an attempt to do, is probably not what a 50 year old looking to retire a couple of years early needs to do. Another point is that executing big changes is problematic for the client on several levels.

Lastly, there is no practical way that a successful broker at the firm could take Mr. Keon's advice, assuming he wanted to, because there are too many clients to get in touch with and execute the trades suggested in a timely manner. Further, since most brokers have client money placed with managers, there is yet another layer of work needed to comply with the recommendation.

I have been baffled my Mr. Keon's opinions and process on more than one occasion so this is nothing new.