Robinhood is going public. Warren Buffett, Michael Burry, and other top investors have blasted the trading app and warned day traders to be careful.

Michael Burry against a gray promotional backdrop for the movie "The Big Short."
Michael Burry.

  • Robinhood is poised to go public on Thursday at a $32 billion valuation.
  • Warren Buffett, Michael Burry, and other top investors have blasted the trading app as reckless.
  • Market veterans have also warned day traders against rampant speculation and taking on debt.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Robinhood is set to go public on Thursday at a potential $32 billion valuation, capitalizing on booming demand from retail investors seeking to trade stocks, cryptocurrencies, and other assets during the pandemic.

The trading app is popular among amateur investors and day traders because it doesn’t charge commissions, allows fractional investing, and trusts its users to trade on margin and buy and sell risky, complex financial products such as options.

However, Warren Buffett, Michael Burry, and other leading investors have accused Robinhood and its peers of encouraging speculation and excessive risk-taking. They have also warned market newbies not to borrow too much, trade things they don’t understand, or treat investing like a game they’re guaranteed to win.

Robinhood didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.

Here’s what 10 top investors have said about Robinhood and the day-trading boom. Their quotes have been lightly edited and condensed for clarity:

Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett
Warren Buffett, the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway.

“There’s nothing illegal about it, there’s nothing immoral. But I don’t think you build a society around people doing it. I hope we don’t have more of it.” — accusing Robinhood of encouraging users to trade options rather than invest for the long term. (May 2021)

Michael Burry

Michael Burry against a promotional backdrop for the movie "The Big Short."
Michael Burry, the star of “The Big Short” and head of Scion Asset Management.

“If you do not use #robinhood, you have to see it to understand what #gamification of #stonks/options means. So here it is. If this looks like a serious investing app to you, and NOT a dangerous casino ‘fun for all ages,’ you’ve been #gamified.” (February 2021)

 

Mark Cuban

Mark Cuban speaking at Business Insider's IGNITION conference on December 3, 2018.
Mark Cuban, the “Shark Tank” star and Dallas Mavericks owner.

“It’s not investing, and it’s almost not even trading, it’s more like revenge. It is the revenge of the nerd. It’s the revenge of the little guy.” — commenting on the horde of retail investors who sparked the meme-stock boom (February 2021)

“If you’re a day trader and you can walk and chew gum, you are making money right now. You’re doing the same thing they did in the late ’90s. You’re rolling it. You think everybody is a genius in a bull market.” (June 2020)

Chris Sacca

chris sacca
Chris Sacca, the founder of Lowercase Capital and an early investor in Uber, Twitter, and Instagram.

“I have axes to grind against a lot of the guys you’re wrecking, and I love to hear about real people stacking chips. But, please, from someone who has been there … don’t trade what you can’t afford to lose.” — advising the retail investors who executed short squeezes and hammered hedge funds to be careful (January 2021)

“To the angry Robinhood bros who got into trading stocks this year: I was wrong. You’re amazing. This has nothing to do with the market. It’s all you and your mad skillz. Don’t take profits off the table. Double down, on margin. Borrow everything you can. Stonks never go down!” — sarcastically responding to the backlash from day traders after he tweeted they got lucky and should cash out some of their profits (January 2021)

Charlie Munger

charlie munger
Charlie Munger, Warren Buffett’s business partner and Berkshire Hathaway’s vice-chairman.

“Robinhood is beneath contempt. It’s a gambling parlor masquerading as a respectable business. It’s basically a sleazy, disreputable operation.” (May 2021)

Leon Cooperman

Leon Cooperman holding his glasses up to his right temple.
Leon Cooperman, the former CEO of Omega Advisors, runs a family office now.

“They are just doing stupid things. This will end in tears.” — commenting on retail traders buying shares in bankrupt companies and making other high-risk trades (June 2020)

Jim Chanos

Jim Chanos
Jim Chanos, the president and founder of Kynikos Associates.

“They are going to trade themselves into oblivion. We are at prices now where the crowd that is betting on margin and betting through options had better be right. Anything that corrects and reverts to the mean, or to real valuation metrics, is going to destroy a whole generation of investors.” (November 2020)

Jeffrey Gundlach

Jeffrey Gundlach
“Bond King” Jeffrey Gundlach, the CEO of DoubleLine Capital.

“There’s been an incredible increase in tiny retail investor activity in terms of the accounts on Robinhood and other platforms that have just exploded in term of size. I think that’s pretty dangerous. These people that are buying slices of the stock market don’t even know what they’re doing, and have probably lost money already.” (June 2020)

“We’ll have a tremendous unwind of a lot of the money that thinks the stock market is a one-way thing.” (March 2021)

Howard Marks

Howard Marks
Howard Marks, the cofounder and co-chairman of Oaktree Capital Management.

“Some people think it’s a gambling game, like betting on football. It’s not healthy to have people who are buying stocks for fun. It reminds me of the people who were day trading in 1999 and declaring day trading a ‘can’t miss’ strategy. The tech stocks crapped out in 2000.” (June 2020)

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Michael Burry, Jeremy Grantham, and other top investors are predicting an epic market crash. Here are their gravest warnings so far.

Michael Burry against a promotional backdrop for the movie "The Big Short."
Michael Burry.

  • Michael Burry, Jeremy Grantham, and other experts are predicting an epic market crash.
  • Jeffrey Gundlach, Leon Cooperman, and Stanley Druckenmiller expect a downturn too.
  • Here are the gravest warnings so far from eight top investors and commentators.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Michael Burry and Jeremy Grantham are bracing for a devastating crash across financial markets. They’re far from the only experts to warn that rampant speculation fueled by government stimulus programs can’t shore up asset prices forever.

The billionaire investors Leon Cooperman, Stanley Druckenmiller, and Jeffrey Gundlach have also sounded the alarm. The same is true for the “Shark Tank” star Kevin O’Leary, the market prophet Gary Shilling, and the “Rich Dad Poor Dad” author Robert Kiyosaki.

Here are the most striking warnings from these 8 market experts:

Michael Burry

Michael Burry against a gray promotional backdrop for the movie "The Big Short."
Michael Burry.

Burry in June described the markets as the “greatest speculative bubble of all time in all things” and said retail investors were buying into the hype around meme stocks and cryptocurrencies before the “mother of all crashes.”

Earlier this year, the investor of “The Big Short” fame, who runs Scion Asset Management, pointed to Tesla, GameStop, bitcoin, dogecoin, Robinhood, and the red-hot US housing market as signs of speculative excess.

Read more: Goldman Sachs says buy these 20 stocks that have the most upside potential right now — including 5 set to surge by at least 50%

Jeremy Grantham

Jeremy Grantham against a blurry background.
Jeremy Grantham.

Grantham in January said the market was a “fully fledged epic bubble” and described it as the “real McCoy.”

“When you have reached this level of obvious super-enthusiasm, the bubble has always, without exception, broken in the next few months, not a few years,” the legendary investor and GMO cofounder said.

“We will have to live, potentially, possibly, with the biggest loss of perceived value from assets that we have ever seen,” Grantham added.

Leon Cooperman

Leon Cooperman holding his glasses up to his right temple.
Leon Cooperman.

Cooperman expressed deep concerns about financial markets in May.

“Everything I look at would suggest caution, intermediate to long term, would be the rule of the day,” the billionaire investor and Omega Advisors boss said. “When this market has a reason to go down, it’s going to go down so fast your head’s going to spin.”

But Cooperman described himself as a “fully invested bear” because factors that typically cause bear markets — rising inflation, recession fears, a hostile Federal Reserve — weren’t present.

Read more: How to mine doge: An 18-year-old TikTok influencer shares his process for earning crypto without directly buying via a $700 rig — and explains how it works for other altcoins including litecoin

Stanley Druckenmiller

Stanley Druckenmiller speaking and gesturing against a black-and-orange background.
Stanley Druckenmiller.

Druckenmiller said in May that the bull market reminded him of the dot-com boom, but he cautioned that asset prices could continue rising for a while.

“I have no doubt that we are in a raging mania in all assets,” the billionaire investor and Duquesne Family Office chief said. “I also have no doubt that I don’t have a clue when that’s going to end.

“I knew we were in a raging mania in ’99, but it kept going on, and if you had shorted the tech stocks in mid-’99, you were out of business by the end of the year,” Druckenmiller added.

The investor indicated he would pull his cash out of equities in a matter of months.

“I will be surprised if we’re not out of the stock market by the end of the year, just because the bubbles can’t last that long,” he said.

Jeffrey Gundlach

Jeff Gundlach speaking against a black background.
Jeffrey Gundlach.

Equities are undeniably expensive, Gundlach said in March.

The billionaire investor and DoubleLine Capital boss said that claiming the stock market was “anything other than very overvalued versus history” was “just to be ignorant of all the metrics of valuation.” He predicted that stocks would fall by upwards of 15% when the downturn comes.

Gundlach, known as the “bond king,” predicted that the retail investors who had piled into meme stocks and other speculative assets wouldn’t stick around once prices started dropping.

“We’ll have a tremendous unwind of a lot of the money that thinks that the stock market is a one-way thing,” he said.

Read more: Famed investor Michael Burry is predicting the ‘mother of all crashes’. Here’s what 9 other key ‘Big Short’ players are doing now.

Kevin O’Leary

Kevin O'Leary speaking and pointing on "Shark Tank."
Kevin O’Leary.

O’Leary said in April that stocks would eventually crumble, but he framed the downturn as an educational opportunity for rookie investors.

“Buying the dip is more rock-and-roll, but what invariably happens is you go through a massive correction and you learn a very important lesson,” the “Shark Tank” star and O’Leary Funds chief said.

“The generation that is trading right now has never gone through a sustained correction. It’s coming — I don’t know when, I don’t know what’ll trigger it, but they will learn their lesson,” he continued.

“If you have a lot of leverage on, it’s a hell of a lesson because you end up in a negative net-worth position,” O’Leary added. “But you do learn from it.”

Robert Kiyosaki

Robert Kiyosaki against a green background.
Robert Kiyosaki.

Kiyosaki tweeted in June that he was expecting the greatest market crash ever.

“Biggest bubble in world history getting bigger,” the personal-finance guru and author of “Rich Dad Poor Dad” said. “Biggest crash in world history coming.”

Kiyosaki has accused the Federal Reserve of overstimulating markets and devaluing the dollar. He’s advised investors to prepare for the downturn by stocking up on precious metals and cryptocurrencies.

“ARE YOU READY?” he tweeted in April. “Boom, Bust, Mania, Crash, Depression. Mania in markets today. Prepare for biggest crash, depression in world history. What will Fed do? Print more money? Save more gold, silver, bitcoin.”

Gary Shilling

Gary Shilling against a yellow-and-orange background.
Gary Shilling.

Shilling predicted in April that financial markets would nosedive, but he declined to hazard a guess at when the crash would arrive.

“I’m not making any firm prediction as to when this thing is going to collapse,” the veteran forecaster and president of A. Gary Shilling & Co. said.

“Speculations outrun any logic and that’s probably going to be true of this one,” Shilling continued. “But at some point, boy, there’s going to be a lot of blood on the floor.”

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Billionaire ‘bond king’ Jeffrey Gundlach blasted stimulus checks for distorting markets – and warned inflation could threaten stock prices

Jeffrey Gundlach
Jeffrey Gundlach

  • Billionaire investor Jeffrey Gundlach warned stimulus checks are distorting markets.
  • The DoubleLine Capital CEO said sustained inflation could hit stock prices.
  • Gundlach called crypto the “poster child” of the speculative mania in markets.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Jeffrey Gundlach underlined the risks of excessive federal stimulus in a Yahoo Finance interview this week. He also warned sustained inflation could hammer stock prices, and suggested bitcoin’s recent slump might indicate that market speculation is on the decline.

The billionaire founder and CEO of DoubleLine Capital, whose nickname is the “bond king,” said multiple rounds of stimulus checks have distorted several parts of the economy. They have fueled the sharp rise in US house prices over the past year, he said, and discouraged some recipients from working because they’re “making more money sitting at home watching Netflix.”

“One of the dangers that we’ve opened the door to is these stimulus checks are starting to feel like they might not go away,” Gundlach added.

The DoubleLine boss was caught off-guard by inflation data this week that showed consumer prices jumped the most in 11 years last month. His firm’s models were predicting higher inflation in another month or two, and he still expects the peak to be in July, he said.

“If we keep going higher from there, then I think people are going to be seriously worried,” he continued, explaining that it would rule out a temporary increase in prices due to the economy reopening.

Moreover, sustained inflation could pressure the Federal Reserve into raising interest rates and pumping less liquidity into markets. “That’s gonna be problematic for the valuation of the stock market,” he said.

Gundlach linked the cryptocurrency boom and meme-stock frenzy to stimulus checks later in the interview.

“Gamestop, all these things, a lot of people are just playing with this funny money,” he said. “They feel like they’re playing with the house’s money, so it actually does resemble a casino to them, psychologically.”

Gundlach, who was bullish on bitcoin last year, compared it to the pre-revenue tech startups that went public in the months before the dot-com crash. “Every era of really highly valued markets, after they’ve run a lot, has some sort of a poster child,” he said. “Here I think it’s really these cryptos.”

The investor suggested bitcoin’s recent correction might indicate the rampant speculation in markets has peaked and may now be easing. “Maybe it’s only temporary, but when you’re looking at a speculative fervor, I look for the poster child to roll over last,” he said.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Billionaire investor Jeffrey Gundlach warns stocks are hugely overvalued – and amateur traders will worsen the coming crash

Jeffrey Gundlach
Jeffrey Gundlach.

  • Jeffrey Gundlach warned stocks are overvalued and face a brutal downturn.
  • The billionaire investor predicted the stock market will tumble by far more than 15%.
  • The DoubleLine Capital boss also slammed the latest round of US stimulus.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Billionaire investor Jeffrey Gundlach sounded the alarm on stocks and predicted a painful crash on DoubleLine’s Total Return Webcast last week.

Suggesting the stock market is “anything other than very overvalued versus history is just to be ignorant of all the metrics of valuation,” the DoubleLine Capital boss said.

Gundlach gave that reply when asked whether he agrees with Michael Burry of “The Big Short” fame that markets are in a “speculative bubble” and will suffer a “dramatic and painful” decline. He voiced a similar view, saying stocks would fall much more than 15% when the downturn comes.

The so-called “bond king” predicted that many retail investors will cash out when equities turn south, exacerbating the inevitable correction. “We’ll have a tremendous unwind of a lot of the money that thinks that the stock market is a one-way thing,” he said.

Gundlach also issued a stark warning about federal spending during the pandemic. “We’re pretty clearly in a speculative bubble regarding debt and government activity,” he said.

The DoubleLine boss deployed a wealth of economic data to make his arguments. For example, he pointed to rising trade and budget deficits, depressed consumer confidence, record readings on the “Buffett indicator” and other market gauges, heady price-earnings ratios, and the disconnect between growth, employment, and the stock market.

Gundlach made several calls during the webcast. He expects year-on-year inflation of over 3% in June or July, the dollar to weaken in the coming months, and gold prices to bounce back.

Moreover, the investor predicted the VIX – an index known as the market’s “fear gauge” because it measures investors’ volatility expectations – will surge past 100 for the first time when the crash comes. Lofty valuations and the “amateur aspect of the market with Robinhood” will fuel volatility, he said.

Gundlach also criticized President Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus bill, which was signed into law last week. He called it “shocking” that couples with a household income of $150,000 and three children are set to receive $6,000 in federal support.

Stimulus initiatives are “cooking all of us frogs in a pot,” he said, comparing them to “monetization” programs where governments fund themselves by printing money instead of collecting taxes or borrowing.

“The biggest problem is that we’ve become totally addicted to these stimulus programs,” Gundlach said. He argued that the government is training people to rely on federal support, and could struggle to turn off the tap as a result.

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