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Cooperman Says Earning 13% Annually in Stocks Takes `Average IQ’

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On a dreary Monday morning in May, rain pelts the windows of Omega Advisors Inc.’s 31st-floor conference room in New York. Inside, Leon Cooperman and his 14 analysts are trying to come up with ways to make money amid squalling markets. In a single dismal month, half of the hedge fund’s gains for the year have evaporated.

“The market is very sick,” Cooperman says. That’s not necessarily bad news for Cooperman, 69, a blustery billionaire from the South Bronx who first made his name as a stock picker during 25 years as an analyst at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. “We have to take advantage,” he says. “What’s ridiculously priced now?”