Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Michael Burry bullish on farmland, gold

Michael Burry, the California investor who profited by foreseeing the subprime mortgage collapse, is investing in farmland, small tech companies and Asian stocks, and gold.

Bloomberg has the details:

" “...I believe that agriculture land -- productive agricultural land with water on site -- will be very valuable in the future,” Burry, 39, said in a Bloomberg Television interview scheduled for broadcast this morning in New York. “I’ve put a good amount of money into that.”

Burry, as head of Scion Capital LLC, prodded Wall Street banks in early 2005 to create credit-default swaps to bet against bonds backed by the riskiest home loans. The strategy paid off as borrowers defaulted, letting his investors more than quintuple their money from 2000 to 2008, according to Michael Lewis’s book “The Big Short” (Norton/Allen Lane).

Burry, who now manages his own money after shuttering the fund in 2008, said finding original investments is difficult because many trades are crowded and asset classes often move together.

“I’m interested in finding investments that aren’t just simply going to float up and down with the market,” he said. “The incredible correlation that we’re experiencing -- we’ve been experiencing for a number of years -- is problematic.”..."

With so many hedge funds and investment firms following the same research and stalking the same ideas, it seems the larger companies and sectors are crowded trades. Burry is going further afield with his entry into farmland and smaller Asian stocks; it will be interesting to see if rising inflation from global money printing leads cash-averse investors to pile into some of these areas in the next few years.

More on the issue of gold and paper money inflation, currency devaluation in Bloomberg's article. You'll also find video interviews with Burry on Bloomberg TV, so be sure to check out the video tabs.

For more on Michael Burry and his successful subprime trade, see, "Michael Burry explains subprime CDS trade", as well as Michael Lewis' discussion of Burry and The Big Short with Charlie Rose. You can also click the "Michael Burry" label in our post footer to find more.