Legendary investor Bill Miller thinks the stock market looks fairly valued – and bitcoin’s use as a store of value is an open question

Bill Miller
  • Bill Miller said the stock market looks fairly valued, and investors are mostly optimistic.
  • Fund managers should be able to find “plenty of names to fill our portfolios,” he said.
  • Bitcoin’s use as a store of value is an open question driving strong debate, the billionaire said.
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Despite predictions for a market crash from other top investors, the stock market looks fairly valued, famed stock picker Bill Miller said in his latest letter to fund clients.

The star investor, whose flagship fund beat the market for 15 years straight, but tumbled 55% in 2008, said he found it curious that investors like Michael Burry, Jeremy Grantham, Leon Cooperman, and Stanley Druckenmiller are predicting an epic market crash because “we had one only 15 months ago.”

Economic turmoil and anxiety over the effects of the COVID-19 crisis saw the market decline the most in history during March 2020 before it kicked off a remarkable recovery, he said.

“The market looks broadly fairly valued to me, with most stocks priced to provide a market rate of return plus or minus a few percent,” he added. “There does appear to be considerable optimism among individual investors about their expected returns from stocks.”

For Miller, factors including a 7% growth estimate, higher expectations of company earnings, and a rise in the net worth of US households are all adding to the recovery story. The only point of contention is the outlook for inflation.

He said that while prices are broadly rising across sectors at the fastest pace in decades, the pandemic-driven boom in certain commodities like lumber is cooling off.

He also thinks fund managers should be able to “find plenty of names to fill our portfolios and so remain fully invested.”

The billionaire, whose bitcoin holdings are worth more than his Amazon stock, also gave his take on the outlook for the cryptocurrency, which is currently holding between $32,000 and $36,000 per coin.

“Bitcoin was born out of the 2008 crisis and was designed to be free of government control and manipulation, to be the ultimate in an inflation proof asset,” he said. “It is an open question if it will be an enduring store of value, with many strong opinions on both sides.”

Miller began buying bitcoin when it cost $200-300. It was last trading at $33,237 per coin as of 4:00 a.m ET on Tuesday, a decline of about 41% in the past three months, but still up nearly 260% in a year.

Read More: These 5 stocks are ripe for a short squeeze after surging in popularity this past month, according to Fintel. 2 even have the meme-friendly appeal of AMC and GameStop.

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Bitcoin crosses $30,000 for the first time as it charges into 2021

bitcoin
Bitcoin’s value grew over 300% last year.

  • Bitcoin set a new record Saturday when the price of the digital currency passed $30,000.
  • The blockchain incumbent has been surging in recent weeks, passing the $20,000 price point a little over two weeks ago and edging toward $25,000 on Christmas day.
  • Bitcoin has grown significantly over the last year as it’s drawn in more interest from institutional and retail investors, some of whom view digital coins as a safe haven during the coronavirus pandemic. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The price of bitcoin crossed $30,000 for the first time on Saturday as the digital currency continued its rally into the new year. 

Bitcoin reached a high of $33,136.92, a spike of around 14% over the last 24 hours.

The cryptocurrency has been breaking record-after-record in recent days, passing the $20,000 price point a little over two weeks ago and edging toward $25,000 on Christmas day. Its current market cap is about $611 billion.

Bitcoin’s value grew over 300% last year as more institutional investors decided to embrace digital currencies. Companies like PayPal added support for cryptocurrency transactions, and some retail investors turned to digital coins as a safe haven (like gold) during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Investors aren’t sure yet whether bitcoin’s recent rise will impact the price of gold going forward. 

JPMorgan strategists argued in December that the newcomer currency may eventually lower the value of gold because “adoption of bitcoin by institutional investors has only begun, while for gold its adoption by institutional investors is very advanced.”

But a Goldman Sachs analyst later wrote that bitcoin was unlikely to negatively affect gold long-term. “We do not see evidence that bitcoin’s rally is cannibalizing gold’s bull market and believe the two can coexist,” the analyst wrote in a note.

Bitcoin wasn’t the only digital currency to rise Saturday. Smaller competitors like Ethereum, Litecoin, and Chainlink all saw price jumps during cryptocurrency trading while almost all other markets were closed.

Read more about bitcoin’s recent rally: 

 

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Billionaire Ray Dalio reviewed Bitcoin, praised China, and explained his thoughts on the outlook for financial markets in a Reddit session. Here are his 10 best quotes.

ray dalio
  • Investor Ray Dalio hosted a plain-spoken Reddit session on Tuesday at which users had the chance to ask him anything from his outlook for financial markets, to the potential of Bitcoin.
  • The billionaire also discussed China’s leadership, emphasized the importance of diversification in a portfolio, and how a “flood of money” is lifting asset prices.
  • Here are the 10 best quotes from Dalio’s “Ask Me Anything” session.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Hedge-fund manager Ray Dalio hosted a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” session on December 8. In response to Redditors’ questions on what he expects for financial markets, he explained why a “flood of money and credit” that’s unlikely to recede will lift asset prices.

The self-made billionaire also touched upon his thoughts on Bitcoin, why he admires China’s leadership, his concerns over the US economy, and the future of jobs.

Dalio, founder of the world’s largest hedge fund Bridgewater Associates, has a net worth of $15.5 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index

Here are Dalio’s 10 best quotes from the Reddit session:

1. “I think that Bitcoin (and some other digital currencies) have, over the last ten years, established themselves as interesting gold-like asset alternatives, with similarities and differences to gold and other limited-supply, mobile (unlike real estate) store holds of wealth.”

2. “As far Bitcoin relative to gold, I have a strong preference for holding those things which central banks are going to want to hold and exchange value in when they are trying to transact.”

3. “The Chinese leadership is extremely knowledgeable in the lessons of its history and how things work. What I would convey to you and my fellow Americans is that they have a lot of internal disagreement and processes for dealing with it well within the government, so it does exist. Whether or not it is more productive to have the entire population in those discussions is a matter of opinion.”

4. “It is a very civilized society that is doing extraordinarily well and is not consistent with the stereotypes that one might believe are true. It is by no means perfect (nor is any other country) and should be open-mindedly assessed based on evidence, rather than emotionally reacted against based on derogatory characterizations.” – on what people that ignore China are missing.

Read More: A Lazard fund manager overseeing $2 billion lays out the 6 world-changing trends shaping his latest fund – and explains how he plans to capitalize on each

5.  “We are in a flood of money and credit that is lifting most asset prices and distributing wealth in a way that the system that we’ve come to believe is normal is unable to, and that is threatening to the value of our money and credit.”

6. “It is important to diversify well in terms of currencies and countries, as well as asset classes. Internally, this is taking place in a politically and socially threatening environment, which will affect taxes, spending, and how we are with each other. Externally, there will be greater competition, particularly by China.”

7. “I think that between now and the mid-term elections in 2022, and between then and the next presidential election in 2024, we will face critical choices both domestically and internationally that will define the likelihood of having an internal and/or external existential conflict.” – on the evolution of US leadership.

Read More: The equities chief at $1.4 trillion Franklin Templeton says stocks are ‘priced for perfection’ – but investors still shouldn’t wait to get in. He tells us 9 ways they can get the market-beating returns.

8. “I worry that we are our own worst enemies and/or that we collectively aren’t willing to make the revolutionary changes that are needed to be on the best path for dealing with our circumstances. However, it is certainly possible that we can get on that path.” – on the superpower status of the United States.

9. “My fear, which is turning into a reality, is those countries that are working the hardest are also increasingly finding ways to work the smartest, which is hurting the competitiveness of those who are working less hours and less efficiently.” – on the future of jobs and workplace culture.

10. “What is most important is inventiveness – the capacity to get much more out of an hour’s work.”

Read More: Morgan Stanley’s consumer analysts share 13 high-conviction global stocks to buy to capitalize on the continuing economic recovery

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