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Archive for the ‘Dr. Michael (Mike) Burry’ Category

In Burry, Predictor of Mortgage Collapse, Bets on Farmland, Gold, Bloomberg has a great profile on Dr. Michael Burry and his recent investments. Says Bloomberg:

Michael Burry, the former hedge-fund manager who predicted the housing market’s plunge, said he is investing in farmable land, small technology companies and gold as he hunts original ideas and braces for a weaker dollar.

“I believe that agriculture land — productive agricultural land with water on site — will be very valuable in the future,” Burry, 39, said in a Bloomberg Television interview scheduled for broadcast this morning in New York. “I’ve put a good amount of money into that.”

Burry points to market correlation as “problematic”:

Burry, who now manages his own money after shuttering the fund in 2008, said finding original investments is difficult because many trades are crowded and asset classes often move together.

“I’m interested in finding investments that aren’t just simply going to float up and down with the market,” he said. “The incredible correlation that we’re experiencing — we’ve been experiencing for a number of years — is problematic.”

He likes Asian tech stocks:

Still, it’s possible to find opportunities among small companies because large investors and government officials focus on bigger ones, he said. He is particularly interested in small technology firms.

“Smaller companies in Asia, I think, are neglected,” he said. “There are some very cheap companies there.”

And gold:

Gold is also a favored investment as central banks issue debt and devalue their currencies, he said. Governments haven’t adequately addressed the causes of the financial crisis and may be sowing the seeds for future problems by borrowing, he said. In the U.S., lawmakers showed they didn’t understand how to prevent another crisis when they gave the Federal Reserve and Chairman Ben S. Bernanke additional authority, he said.

“The Federal Reserve, in my view, hadn’t seen this coming and in some ways, possibly contributed to the crisis,” he said. “Now, Bernanke is the most powerful Fed chairman in history. I’m not sure that’s the right response. The result tends to tell me they’re not getting it right.”

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Burry continues to be a very popular topic on Greenbackd (for more, see my posts Michael Lewis’s The Big Short, the Vanity Fair article Betting on the Blind SideBurry’s techstocks.com “Value Investing” thread and Burry’s Scion Capital investor letters)

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Dr. Michael Burry has been a very popular topic on Greenbackd recently as a result of Michael Lewis’s The Big Short and the Vanity Fair article Betting on the Blind Side. I have posted a link to Burry’s techstocks.com “Value Investing” thread (now Silicon Investor) and another to Burry’s Scion Capital investor letters, but the thirst for all things Burry remains undiminished. The New York Times now has an article, The Origins of Michael Burry, Online, discussing some of Burry’s early postings on his techstocks.com thread. Here Burry discusses his strategy for shorting:

I mentioned that I pick stocks to short based on valuation, not ratios (I ask you to find the correct free cash flow — I bet most people don’t kow they’re working with negative net working capital, either). But I ENTER based on technical analysis. KO could go up or down. The odds are down, technically, but that’s what buy stops are for. This isn’t a long term short by any means. Research on shorts show that profitable shorts make money with small gains, not by waiting for businesses to bankrupt. The small gains are usually there for the picking. Another indicator — if it’s mentioned in Barron’s as a buy three different times <g> — set me onto Wells Fargo.

What’s there to understand about Coke? The business is a KISS model. This gets to my value/short strategy. When people start claiming a business deserves a special valuation above all reasonable fundamental analysis (because of the “franchise”, because there’s so little institutional ownership for a big cap growth stock, because Buffett’s in it, because global expansion will provide endless opportunity, because ROE is so damned high, because it’s nearly a monopoly, because Buffett’s in it…), that’s a short, IMO.

I just read a bunch of Graham, and he doesn’t deal with shorts (I assume it would be “speculation”), but EMT isn’t all that its panned to be either, IMO.

Just trying to think independently,

Mike

The NYT has also unearthed a Forbes magazine article from 2000:

VALUESTOCKS.NET www.valuestocks.net Supposedly for value investors, though Warren Buffett might not agree with this definition of value. Run by a 28-year-old neurology resident, Dr. Michael Burry, Valuestocks.net showcases Burry’s own $50,000 portfolio, which includes some surprising choices including Pixar, the maker of Toy Story. Has good information on how to identify net-net stocks (trading for less than assets minus all conceivable liabilities). Accompanying all this are Burry’s incisive reports, as good as anything from Wall Street. One of the site’s best features is a list of essential finance texts, including thumbnail reviews and links to Amazon.com (Burry’s only source of revenue, since he doesn’t accept banner ads). BEST: Original analysis, links to great finance sites, and a must-read book list for value investors. WORST: Limited content is sometimes dated.

It seems Greenbackd is rapidly, if unintentionally, becoming Mike Burry’s Of Permanent Value, which is Andrew Kilpatrick’s encyclopedic collection of stories about Warren Buffett. Incidentally, my copy of Of Permanent Value is around ten years old, which means it’s one-third the size of the 2010 edition (I’m not even joking. Mine came in a single volume, and it now seems to be a three-volume extravaganza. Buffett has been busy over the last 10 years).

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