The bearish billionaires

Three billionaire investors, who see an end to the bull market in US stocks.

As the S&P marches on and on, experienced investors are increasingly concerned that it is running out of oxygen. One is Sam Zell, a real-estate billionaire nicknamed the Grave Dancer' for his knack of profiting from distressed assets. He's worried about the gulf between the stock market's performance and the underlying economic fundamentals.

In the latest earnings season, says Zell, firms that disappointed the market mainly did so because their sales fell short of forecasts. That's a reflection of weak demand, which is hardly a hallmark of a thriving recovery with equities at record levels.

Part of the reason stocks are overinflated is that people have nowhere else to put their money amid rock-bottom interest rates. This makes the market look precarious, as the economic and geopolitical backdrop is uncertain."It's very likely that something has to give here," he concludes.

Meanwhile, George Soros has taken out put options insurance against a decline on an ETF tracking the S&P 500. The position is worth $2.2bn, or 17% of his total assets under management, says Tyler Durden on Zerohedge.com.

And Carl Icahn, the "poster-child of leveraged financial engineering", says he's nervous about US stocks. Then again, concludes Durden, investors should consider the possibility that the bearish billionaires are a contrarian indicator.

Recommended

The world’s fund managers are getting very bullish – be careful out there
Stockmarkets

The world’s fund managers are getting very bullish – be careful out there

The latest survey of fund managers shows them to be extremely bullish on all the same things. And that, says John Stepek, means the market is in dange…
21 Jan 2021
Five online retail stocks to diversify your portfolio with
Share tips

Five online retail stocks to diversify your portfolio with

Professional investor Tancredi Cordero, founder and CEO of Kuros Associates, selects five of his favourite online retail stocks to buy now.
18 Jan 2021
Why investment forecasting is futile
Investment gurus

Why investment forecasting is futile

Every year events prove that forecasting is futile and 2020 was no exception, says Bill Miller, chairman and chief investment officer of Miller Value …
18 Jan 2021
Why investors should beware of India’s surging stockmarket
Emerging markets

Why investors should beware of India’s surging stockmarket

The BSE Sensex benchmark index has soared by 90% since March, largely driven by foreign investors. But India's bull market is very vulnerable.
15 Jan 2021

Most Popular

Why we won’t see a house-price crash in 2021
House prices

Why we won’t see a house-price crash in 2021

Lockdown sent house prices berserk as cooped up home-workers fled for bigger properties in the country. And while they won’t rise quite as much this y…
18 Jan 2021
Prepare for the end of the epic bubble in US stocks
US stockmarkets

Prepare for the end of the epic bubble in US stocks

US stocks are as expensive as they’ve ever been. How can you prepare your portfolio for a bubble bursting?
18 Jan 2021
The best investment trusts to buy for 2021
Investment trusts

The best investment trusts to buy for 2021

Sectors ranging from emerging markets to student accommodation look poised to do well this year, says David Stevenson, as he picks the best investment…
19 Jan 2021