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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Jeffrey Gundlach, star bond investor and the head of DoubleLine Capital LP, said on Thursday that investors who are fleeing bonds in favor of alternatives offering higher yields could suffer losses if interest rates rise.
"If interest rates rise up to 5 percent on the 10-year Treasury, you are going to get killed in a lot of these types of vehicles," Gundlach, the chief executive and chief investment officer of DoubleLine Capital, told cable television network CNBC. Using master limited partnerships as an example, he said such investments have a lot of leverage and interest-rate risk.
Los Angeles-based DoubleLine Capital has $59 billion in mostly fixed-income assets.
The Federal Reserve's monthly purchases of $85 billion in Treasuries and agency mortgages have kept interest rates low, drawing investors into riskier assets such as stocks. The benchmark S&P 500 .SPX index is up 14.5 percent so far this year.
Master limited partnerships are publicly traded entities that can own assets such as pipelines, timber or real estate.
Gundlach, who told Reuters in early March that he bought 10-year U.S. Treasury notes earlier this year when their yields breached 2 percent, said bonds "are not going to be a terrible investment" in the short term. He said investors can earn mid-to-high single-digit returns from riskier bonds.
Gundlach also told CNBC that if interest rates rise, housing will become far less affordable because of rising interest rates on mortgages. He said he owns silver as a hedge against inflation.
Gundlach's flagship DoubleLine Total Return Bond Fund (DBLTX.O), which oversees more than $40.6 billion, earned a three-year annualized return of 11.15 percent through April, making it the top performer among U.S. intermediate-term bond mutual funds, according to Morningstar.
Reporting by Sam Forgione; Editing by Leslie Adler