The best billionaire investors in the world have amassed their fortunes by being in the right place at the right time, and betting big.
Billionaires are billionaires because they think differently than the average person. They tend to see opportunities well before anyone else knows they are opportunities. They tend to go where some of the biggest risks are, because that’s also where the biggest returns can be found. They like to invest in situations only when they have an advantage. And when they have high conviction, they bet big.
Here’s a glimpse at these 8 big opportunities for the New Year:
Surprise Prediction #1: China – China’s slowdown this year, will turn into global economic fuel next year. (The Trade: iShares China Large-Cap ETF, symbol FXI)
China’s economic slowdown and stock market boom and bust has been one of the dominant themes of 2015. Multiple billionaires have taken the opportunity to load up.
Over the past 15-years, stocks have returned just 4.5% annualized. Meanwhile, Chase Coleman of Tiger Global has returned 21% annualized (gross of fees) on his long positions and became a billionaire in the most difficult stock market in our lifetimes. Coleman holds over 20% of his hedge fund in Chinese stocks. Billionaire Stephen Mandel, another top hedge fund manager, also has a huge chunk of his portfolio in Chinese stocks. And another billionaire, an astute macro investor, and one of the best performing investors in 2015, has one of his top positions in China.
Additionally, billionaire David Tepper thinks next year could be a boom for Chinese stocks and the economy, as he thinks the Chinese central bank could ease more aggressively than anyone thinks is possible. That positive fuel for the global economy could be the antidote for a global demand rebound.
Surprise Prediction #2: Stocks – The comfortable ride on the S&P train for the past six years is over. It’s a stock pickers market. (The Trade: iShares S&P 500 Value ETF, symbol IVE)
Billionaires have mixed views on the broad stock market. Bill Ackman and Leon Cooperman think stocks are a good value. Tepper has been uber bullish for much the past five years, but is more neutral now. Legendary billionaire investor Carl Icahn thinks there’s danger in high yield bond markets that could affect stocks.
More broadly speaking, the consensus view among the best investors in the world is that the broad stock market indicies won’t give you the easy returns we’ve had for the better part of 2009 to 2014. There will be more volatility, and it will be a stock pickers market! That’s when billionaire investors and hedge funds thrive. The winners will be the ones that can strategically identify the right stocks to own. A momentum driven market has favored index buying through this global economic recovery period, and now there is an over-due cyclical shift toward value. With billionaire investors and hedge funds primed to take advantage, the time to join our Billionaire’s Portfolio service couldn’t be better.
Surprise Prediction #3: Fed – The Fed could be forced to raise rates far more aggressively than they have planned. (The Trade: ProShares Short 20+ Year Treasury, symbol TBF)
As we said in the above, billionaire David Tepper thinks that China could ease more aggressively than anyone thinks is possible. If that happens, and it does indeed fuel a pop in global demand, the result could be quicker growth in the U.S. and quicker inflation than what is anticipated by the Fed. With that, the Fed could be forced to raise rates faster than expected.
For the past year the chatter among market participants has been about the potential for more a return to QE for the Fed (i.e. QE4). No one is talking about the Fed potentially being behind the curve on inflation, as they were for much of 2011-2013. This sets up the market for a surprise, which can result in sharp moves as people scurry from one side of the ship to the other.
Surprise Prediction #4: Commodities – Commodities are bottoming. (The Trade: DB Commodity Index Tracking Fund, symbol DBC)
Stanley Druckenmiller, billionaire and legendary macro trader, made his career picking tops and bottoms. He is taking a stab at bottom ticking commodities, loading up on gold, which is the top position in his family office fund. His former boss, George Soros has been scooping up coal and energy stocks. And in the most recent quarter, these macro trading legends have welcomed a lot of their fellow billionaires to the bottom fishing pond, as billionaire investors like Carl Icahn have been building stakes in stocks across the energy sector.
Surprise Prediction #5: Oil – Oil bounces to $70. (Energy Select SPDR, symbol XLE)
The self-made billionaire energy trader, Boone Pickens, has recently called for $70 oil in six months. He’s not the only oil bull. Another famous and very wealthy energy trader has called a bottom in oil too, and is looking for much higher prices. His name is Andy Hall.
He was one of the first energy traders to load up on oil futures in 2002, when oil was sub-$30, on the thesis that a boom in demand was coming from China.
In a recent letter to investors, he laid out an extensive fundamental case for higher oil prices and suggested a cut from OPEC could be coming as well. On that front, he noted that merely a hint of an OPEC policy change in August of 1986 spiked oil prices by 50% in just 24-hours.
So we have two of the greatest and wealthiest oil traders in the world that are long oil and have called for a return to much higher prices sooner rather than later.
Surprise Prediction #6: Bonds –Treasury bonds have topped, corporate bonds will fall hard. (ProShares Short High Yield, symbol SJB)
Everyone agrees treasury bonds are a top – though it’s claimed a lot of victims, including Bill Gross. Perhaps the most dangerous area in the bond market though, is high yield bonds. Companies have been borrowing cheap money and buying back stock at an aggressive rate. Billionaires from Icahn to Druckenmiller think the music has stopped, and the high yield bonds will continue to sink, while weak companies that have been in the business of pumping up share prices through share buybacks will fall.
Surprise Prediction #7: Biotech – Biotech and healthcare stocks have a big year. (The Trade: Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF, symbol IBB)
Biotech has been volatile over the past year and a half as it is a stock pickers market in the biotech sector – sparked by a very rare statement from the sitting Fed Chairman about biotech stock valuations, and most recently because of the political backlash associated with soaring drug costs. When average investors run out of the store, when stocks go on sale, the world’s best investors go on a shopping spree. Biotech and Healthcare stocks are where the big additions have been made in the past quarter in billionaire portfolios. No surprise, with share prices beaten down, M&A in the sector is at a record pace.
Surprise Prediction #8: Technology – New technology keeps booming! (The Trade: DJ Internet Index Fund, symbol FDN)
The Silicon Valley VC, Bill Gurley, has been sounding the alarm about a tech bust. But the reining godfather of the Silicon Valley VC, Marc Andreesen, says we’re not in a bubble, we are working our way out of a 15-year bust (i.e. big innovation is in the early stages). If Andreesen is right, and the technological revolution is closer to the bottom of a cycle than the top, expect more game changing companies to emerge.
The common theme of all of these billionaire surprise predictions is that strategic investing is returning, and riding the Fed-induced rising tide in the broad stock market indices is over. Between 2000 and 2010, when the S&P 500 returned zero, the billionaire investors and hedge funds we follow in the Billionaire’s Portfolio had some of their best performance ever, with some returning 30% to 40% a year over that period.
That type of outperformance comes from being in places where they see an opportunity before anyone else thinks it’s an opportunity. While the ETFs offer a way to play it, the big returns will come from being in select stocks that these billionaires are buying to capitalize on a market that is broadly wrong-footed on many of these predictions.
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The goal of the Billionaire’s Portfolio is simple: to provide retail investors with the same plain-vanilla stock investments that the world’s greatest billionaire investors and hedge funds own. And our subscribers can invest alongside these billionaires without the typical $5 million minimum investments and paying big hedge fund management and performance fees. Instead, they get access to our best of the best portfolio of billionaire owned stocks for just $297 a quarter.