Stan Druckenmiller on Markets, The Fed, & Which Investors He Admires Most ~ market folly

Monday, March 2, 2015

Stan Druckenmiller on Markets, The Fed, & Which Investors He Admires Most

Stanley Druckenmiller, a legendary hedge fund manager (formerly of Duquesne Capital), was interviewed by Kelly Evans on CNBC today and shared his thoughts on the markets and other topics.  Here's some of the key takeaways: 

On the current US markets:  "By historic, fundamental measures, we are extremely high.  Stock market to GDP, which I know is one of Mr. Buffett's favorite measures is probably the highest its been in the last hundred years with an eight month exception around the 1999-2000 period."

He also points to the strong dollar as a headwind for earnings.  He thinks stocks are high by historical measures, but the monetary policy has been so aggressive that they should be high.  He says you should short bonds, not stocks if you think interest rates are going up.

Lastly, he mentioned, "I have positions in the United States, but net-net because of the valuations we talked about and because I'm encouraged by what I'm hearing out of the Fed in terms of them tightening, I'm not all that excited about the U.S."

On the Fed:  He thinks it'd be great if the Fed acts now because he believes there's higher risk in the US economy by acting later.

On which investors he admires most:  He singled out "three lions" he thinks that are talented younger investors who will be considered great one day:  Zach Schreiber at Point State Capital (used to work with Druckenmiller at Duquesne), Chase Coleman at Tiger Global, and Eric Mandelblatt at Soroban Capital (all of which Market Folly covers.) 

On his thoughts on IBM:  He disagrees with Warren Buffett and quoted him saying, "An investor should never let someone else's opinion drive their decision in stocks."  Buffett thinks IBM's problem is cyclical, whereas Druckenmiller thinks its secular.

On foreign markets & positions:  "I just think Europe and Japan are much, much more attractive ... The majority of my long exposure is in Japan and Europe, not in the United States ... You know, a few months ago we started buying the-- I would say global consumer brands who are primarily stable in nature like-- Unilever or Pernod Ricard or L'Oréal. But recently we've shifted into more cyclical names like Volkswagen, BMW, Airbus. When you get the-- you get the tailwind of-- the euro having gone from 140 to 120, which will give them an earnings push in addition at a lower energy. And they are great consumer brand names in and of themselves."

You can read the full transcript of the interview here.

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