In a recent interview with Barron’s, legendary American value investor William H. Miller III shared his thoughts on crypto.
Miller is the Founder, Chairman, and Chief Investment Officer of investment firm Miller Value Partners, as well as the portfolio manager of firm’s mutual funds “Opportunity Equity” and “Income Strategy”.
Before starting Miller Value Partners, Bill Miller and Ernie Kiehne founded Legg Mason Capital Management, and they worked as portfolio managers of the Legg Mason Capital Management Value Trust from its inception in 1982.
It is important to point out that Miller is not your average fund manager. As CNBC noted back in June 2018, Miller’s 15-year streak (through 2005) of beating the is S&P 500 is still a benchmark no active manager can touch.”
In his “4Q 2020 Market Letter” (published on 5 January 2021), Miller had this to say about Bitcoin:
“At this writing, it is trading at over $31,000, up more than 50% since the middle of December. It has outperformed all major asset classes over the past 1, 3, 5, and 10 years. Its market capitalization is greater than JP Morgan and greater than Berkshire Hathaway and yet it is still very early in its adoption cycle.
“The Fed is pursuing a policy whose objective is to have investments in cash lose money in real terms for the foreseeable future. Companies such as Square, MassMutual, and MicroStrategy have moved cash into bitcoin rather than have guaranteed losses on cash held on their balance sheet. Paypal and Square alone are estimated to be buying on behalf of their customers all of the 900 new bitcoins mined each day.
“Bitcoin at this stage is best thought of as digital gold yet has many advantages over the yellow metal. If inflation picks up, or even if it doesn’t, and more companies decide to diversify some small portion of their cash balances into bitcoin instead of cash, then the current relative trickle into bitcoin would become a torrent. Warren Buffett famously called bitcoin ‘rat poison’. He may well be right. Bitcoin could be rat poison, and the rat could be cash.“
According to a report by The Daily Hodl, Miller told Barron’s during a recent interview:
“At the market low of 2020, Bitcoin was $5,800. Bitcoin is now $17,400. Roughly since then, the market is up 70%, and Bitcoin is up 190%. If anyone has a time horizon of longer than a year, you should do quite well in Bitcoin. I wouldn’t call that an investment. I would call it a speculation, but I would call it a sound speculation...
“I’m surprised Bitcoin isn’t at half of its current price given the FTX implosion. People have fled the space, so the fact that it’s still hanging in there at $17,000 is pretty remarkable. But inflation is being attacked and real rates are rising rapidly. I would expect that if and when the Federal Reserve begins to pivot [toward easier monetary policy], Bitcoin would do quite well.“
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