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BlackRock’s Fink Says Now Is the Time to Get Back Into Equities

Annie Massa
BlackRock CEO Larry Fink participates in the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit: A World of Change at The TimesCenter on Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

(Bloomberg) -- BlackRock Inc. Chief Executive Officer Larry Fink was bullish in a call with clients on Thursday, saying there is long-term value in the stock market.

“I believe now is the time to start adding risk,” Fink said. He stressed that his view was mainly for long-term investors.

But Fink said the economic and financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic will be long lasting and likely to change how Americans live and work. State and municipalities will feel stress on their finances for some time as sales tax revenue falls with people cutting spending, he said. That could necessitate even more federal aid down the line.

“I believe this is going to be one of the lasting problems we have,” Fink said. “This is going to be one of the big, open issues way beyond the virus.”

With coronavirus spreading and businesses shuttering, the U.S. government is stepping up aid to businesses and individuals in response. The Senate passed a $2 trillion stimulus plan in an effort to rescue the ailing economy, extending loans, tax breaks and direct payments to Americans.

Fink praised the Trump administration’s efforts and said another round of stimulus will likely be needed. The BlackRock Investment Institute, a research division of the $7 trillion asset manager, heralded the legislation and the Federal Reserve’s similarly sweeping set of emergency actions.

Tom Donilon, chairman of the institute and former national security adviser to President Barack Obama, echoed Fink’s remarks that even after unprecedented stimulus from Congress, “it’s likely there’ll be another phase of support.”

On a lighter note, Fink said he’s among those working from home -- and he doesn’t mind it.

“I was very skeptical of my abilities to work from home,” he said. In many ways it’s made him more productive, he added, as he takes calls from clients and government officials into the evenings. “So far, so good. I’m a little surprised how well I’m able to do it.”

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