Tuesday, September 09, 2008

NYtimes: Bill Miller lucky investor

"What brought that old Fortune story to mind this morning was the news that Mr. Miller was buying up boatloads of shares in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, even as the shares were cascading downward. According to Eric Dash in The New York Times today, “Legg Mason disclosed it had bought an additional 30 million shares” as recently as last week.
“I am shocked how they missed this, and why, when it became clear that the problem was snowballing, guys like Bill Miller doubled down,” a short-seller named Douglas A. Kass told Mr. Dash.
Shocked? I’m not even surprised. His Fannie and Freddie purchases are very much a part of Mr. Miller’s modus operandi. The reason he beat the market all those years is precisely because he liked to bet the rent on stocks that were not just out of fashion, or a little downtrodden. He embraced stocks that the media and Wall Street had openly turned against. He wanted stocks that other people were panicked about. Most famously, he bought Amazon right around the time that a Lehman Brothers bond analyst put out a widely publicized report that the online retailer was running out of cash. But he made tons of bets like that. "

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