Once known for beating the S&P 500 index for 15 years as a fund manager of Legg Mason Value Trust and then losing about 90% of his net worth during the 2008-09 financial crisis due to his bet on stocks like Bear Stearns and AIG, American investor Bill Miller has managed to make a comeback and this time as a billionaire as his bets on Amazon and Bitcoin have had a startling impact on his fortune.
In an interview with journalist William Green for his new book ‘’Richer, Wiser, Happier: How the World’s Greatest Investors Win in Markets and Life’’ Miller shared his story of how he built a second fortune and became a billionaire, thanks primarily to his investments in Bitcoin and Amazon stock.
His value Trust lost 55% in 2008, and his assets under management fell from about $77 billion to about $20 billion. When he joined Legg Mason four decades ago, he says, “my net worth was negative, and I was making $39,000 a year.”
Miller told Green in the recent Barron’s interview that he supercharged his personal bet on Amazon during the financial crisis. The value investor’s stake in Amazon made around 83% of his personal portfolio last year. He thinks he’s now the single largest individual shareholder of Amazon “whose last name isn’t Bezos” – after Jeff Bezos and MacKenzie Scott.
Though, his investment in Bitcoin is now worth even more than his Amazon stake. “I started buying around $200 to $300 per Bitcoin, and my average cost is around $500,” he said.
The Miller Value Partners chief remains bullish on both assets. He expects Amazon stock to double in the next three years as the company expands its cloud-hosting, advertising, business-to-business, and private-label operations. He’s also confident that bitcoin will rise tenfold as demand outstrips supply and investors recognize it’s “far superior to gold,” he told Green.
Miller also had stake in GameStop, however, one of his firm’s funds sold its GameStop holdings during the Reddit-fueled frenzy that began earlier this year, he revealed in an interview with CNBC. ‘’We had GameStop in our deep-value product, and I think our cost on it was around $4 or something,” he said. The investor added that he sold the shares around $70s before the stock expanded to $400.
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