| NEW YORK
NEW YORK A top BlackRock Inc (BLK.N) portfolio manager said on Wednesday he has been buying options "protection" against equities and slicing stock exposure, adding that now is not the time to take risks.
Michael Fredericks, who manages the $13.6 billion BlackRock Multi-Asset Income Fund (BAICX.O), said such risks include massive buying of high dividend-yield stocks, forthcoming decisions on interest rates and the U.S. presidential election.
"In many cases you've seen a lot of money, particularly retail money, moving into the highest dividend paying stocks without scrutiny to the fundamentals of those businesses," Fredericks said at a press event, referring to utilities, consumer staples and other typically high-income stocks.
Fredericks said he is partial to higher-yielding options in the bond market and companies that have proven they can increase their dividends, adding that he has bought "put" options through December as "protection" for his portfolios.
(Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Jeffrey Benkoe)