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BMO's new chief investment strategist is bullish on U.S.

Brian Belski, BMO Nesbitt Burns' new chief investment strategist, is bullish on the long-term prospects for investing in the U.S.

Joining BMO from Oppenheimer & Co, Mr. Belski thinks U.S. stocks have a lot more room for gains after what many people refer to as the 'lost decade.'

"U.S. stocks are positioned for the next secular bull market, one whose duration could easily persist for a multi-year period, in our view," he wrote in his first BMO research note published Monday.

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Yet he understands that U.S. stocks have already been hot this year, and acknowledges that they may have trouble beating their already established 2012 highs. Still, he think there's more upside than downside. "We continue to believe U.S. stocks are mired within a transitional market phase, somewhere between a secular bear and bull market..." Mr. Belski wrote, adding that the U.S. is "much closer to a secular bull market in stocks relative to a secular bear."

The reasoning for his optimism: despite macroeconomic instability, corporate earnings continue to beat expectations; cash earnings keep growing as a portion of earnings per share; and market fear continues to drop after a tumultuous fall. Plus, funds flows have moved against equities for so long that he believes it's only a matter of time before they start to reverse course.

"We firmly believe US fundamentals are positioned to provide global leadership for the next several years and as a result, those investors who maintain a disciplined and process-oriented approach to fundamental analysis during periods of potential volatility will most likely be the ones who benefit the most," he wrote.

Mr. Belski is replacing Ben Joyce, who retired after 30 years with BMO in December.

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About the Author
Reporter and Streetwise columnist

Tim Kiladze is a business reporter with The Globe and Mail. Before crossing over to journalism, he worked in equity capital markets at National Bank Financial and in fixed-income sales and trading at RBC Dominion Securities. Tim graduated from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism and also earned a Bachelor in Commerce in finance from McGill University. More

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