Nobel laureate economist Robert Shiller of Yale University says he's considering a move to European stocks from U.S. stocks because of cheaper valuations overseas.
The MSCI Europe index had a trailing price-earnings ratio of 17.37 as of Jan. 31, compared with 20.44 for the S&P 500 Feb. 13.
"I'm thinking about getting out of the United States somewhat. Europe is so much cheaper," Shiller, who has about half his portfolio in stocks, tells CNBC
Already he has invested in market indices in Italy and Spain. The FTSE MIB Index of Italian stocks has returned 13.2 percent so far this year, and the IBEX 35 Index of Spanish stocks has returned 5.7 percent. The S&P 500 has returned 2.1 percent.
Investment returns are unlikely to reach recent lofty levels in coming years, Shiller notes. That puts a premium on saving for retirement.
"Retirement will be difficult if you don't save more," he warns. "I don't think people have reached that state of mind yet."
Star mutual fund manager John Hussman
, president of Hussman Investment Trust, is concerned about U.S. stocks as well.
"Equity valuations — on the most historically reliable measures we identify — are now fully 117 percent above their pre-bubble norms, on average," he writes in a market commentary.
"As of Friday, our estimate of prospective 10-year S&P 500 annual nominal total returns has declined to just 1.4 percent, suggesting that even the dismal 2 percent yield-to-maturity on 10-year bonds is likely to outperform equities in the decade ahead," Hussman says.
"The upshot is that equities are likely to produce total returns close to zero over the coming decade."
So what does that mean for you and me?
"Suffice it to say that current equity markets are no place for long-term investors, and that even a resumption of risk-seeking investor preferences would demand a considerable safety net," Hussman maintains.
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