- Bill Miller touted his longstanding bets on Amazon and bitcoin during a recent podcast.
- Investors are in a new era of rising rates and inflation, the head of Miller Value Partners said.
- Miller took aim at Warren Buffett’s criticism of bitcoin as a worthless and unproductive asset.
Bill Miller trumpeted his signature bets on Amazon stocks and bitcoin, diagnosed a new paradigm for investors, and took aim at Warren Buffett’s infamous criticism of crypto during a recent episode of the “Richer, Wiser, Happier” podcast.
The founder and chief investment officer of Miller Value Partners, which holds 80% of his personal wealth in Amazon and bitcoin, also lamented the current market downturn and highlighted the buying opportunities that are emerging for brave investors.
Here are the top 10 Miller quotes, lightly edited for length and clarity:
1. “Since November of last year, tuition has been very high for me, a very expensive lesson. I should ask President Biden for student debt forgiveness here for the tuition payments I have made.” (Miller joked about what he learned from watching Amazon, bitcoin, and other key holdings fall in value.)
2. “I got margin calls, and that’s painful because you have to sell things you don’t want to sell. Then once things are sold, you also have to pay taxes. I don’t like paying taxes any more than the next person”. (Miller noted that his cost basis in Amazon stock and bitcoin was effectively zero, so he would have to pay significant taxes on his earnings.)
3. “We’re in a regime change. It’s a different investment environment when you have secular rising interest rates, secular rising inflation, the Fed tightening and the war in Ukraine.”
4. “When people say, ‘What’s the best investment decision you’ve ever made?’ Buying Amazon at the IPO. ‘What’s the worst of it all?’ Sell a part of Amazon.”
5. “We tend to look for things that you ideally wouldn’t have to sell because they hit your valuation target. If that valuation target is still moving at a pretty fast pace, then that’s great because you can go on like Buffett says, forever. The kind of business you like to buy and stay in Berkshire Hathaway.
6. “One of the things I really like about this market is that you can basically buy leveraged buyouts. They have a lot of debt on their balance sheet, but that debt is going to go away in the next few years. The best thing that happened to them is inflation, because debt is a fixed cost and interest rates are rising, so the value of your debt obligations is falling in real terms.
7. “Bitcoin is the only economic entity in the world where supply is not affected by demand.” (Miller noted that if the price of gold spikes, more people will mine gold and the supply will increase, whereas there is a fixed supply of bitcoin.)
8. “I consider bitcoin to be an insurance policy against financial catastrophes.” (Miller gave the example of a national government that privatized a country’s banks and emptied the accounts of its citizens, and suggested that Bitcoin would provide an escape from seizures.)
9. “Buffett said, ‘I wouldn’t give you $25 for all the bitcoins in the world.’ He has said that bitcoin is a non-performing asset and therefore he cannot value it. It’s okay. If the only thing you think you can value is productive assets, then no one is forcing you to buy it, right? So ignore it. The goal of investing is not to own productive assets, the goal is to make money.”
10. “Mike Novogratz got a big Luna tattoo on his arm months ago, with the wolf howling at the moon. It’s like, ‘Wow, maybe you should get a bitcoin beaver on your arm, or something a little more durable.’ .”
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