Whitney Tilson Doesn’t Trust ‘Trump Rally,’ Expects Volatilityby and
Hedge fund manager continues to hold about 60 percent in cash
Is bullish on Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Berkshire Hathaway
Kase Capital Management founder Whitney Tilson says about 60 percent of his assets are sitting in cash amid a rally that has added about $1.6 trillion to U.S. share prices since Election Day. “A lot of volatility” is in store for the market when President-elect Donald Trump takes office in January, he said.
“I am highly skeptical of this Trump rally,” the hedge fund manager wrote Saturday in an e-mail.
Tilson, who supported Democrat Hillary Clinton in the election, said Trump had exhibited “reckless behavior” and shown a disdain for “experts.” Since the Nov. 8 election the Dow Jones industrial average has risen 8.2 percent, the biggest gain in the period that’s greeted any U.S. president since 1900.
“I’m finding tons of shorts and no longs,” Tilson said. “Investors appear to have collective amnesia about the nature of the man who takes office in less than five weeks.”
Despite the probable volatility ahead, Tilson doesn’t expect a disaster like the sub-prime mortgage crisis that helped trigger the global financial crisis of 2007-2008. He remains “very bullish” on the government-sponsored mortgage entities Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which have surged since Trump’s election. He is also still bullish on Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
Tilson, 50, said one of the “big misses” of his 18-year investing career has been never owning shares in Costco Wholesale Corp., which he said is an “incredible, admirable company” that’s “managed to buck the trend” associated with the dislocation online retail giant Amazon.com Inc. has caused to the sector.
Tilson was attacked by Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts, earlier this month on Facebook for being a “hedge fund billionaire” who is “thrilled by Donald Trump’s economic team of Wall Street insiders,” according to the New York Times.
In fact, Tilson fought Trump’s election and has donated money to Warren. Warren called him Wednesday, Tilson said in the e-mail, to tell him she’d taken down the post.
“Susan and I feel a lot better and are glad we can go back to being enthusiastic supporters of hers once again!” Tilson said of his wife.