Summary List Placement
Hedge-fund billionaire Bill Ackman spoke about his lucrative pandemic trade, selling his Berkshire Hathaway stock in May, and why he launched a “blank-check” company at the virtual Sohn Hearts & Minds conference last week.
The Pershing Square boss also tackled other topics including politics, activist shareholders, short-sellers, and the market outlook for 2021.
Scroll down for his 19 best quotes from the interview.
Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Billionaire investor Bill Ackman discussed hedging the pandemic, investing in Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway then exiting less than 18 months later, and the goal of his “blank-check” company during a virtual appearance at the Sohn Hearts & Minds conference last week.
The Pershing Square chief also spoke about shareholder activism, short-selling, the market outlook, and a potential Ivanka Trump presidential run in a wide-ranging interview.
Here are Ackman’s 19 best quotes, condensed and lightly edited for clarity:
1. “I had seen the Matt Damon ‘Contagion’ film so perhaps that was framing the mind” — on his early concerns about COVID-19.
2. “My theory was the only way to shut this thing down ultimately would be a global economic shutdown, and the markets were not trading as if there was going to be a global economic shutdown” — on his decision to hedge Pershing’s stock portfolio.
3. “I felt what it was like to be a trader for the first time in my life. I’m not really a trader, but it was cool and I insisted on trading it alongside my traders just because it was fun” — on the experience of reversing his fund’s hedge after it paid off, using a laptop on a makeshift desk in a beach house.
4. “If you want to learn about the investment business just read everything Warren Buffett’s written, watch every interview he’s ever given.”
Read More: Time is ticking to secure a Brexit deal. Here are 2 ways JPMorgan’s chief market strategist for Europe says investors should prepare their portfolios ahead of the December deadline.
5. “The untold story of Berkshire is that it owns a lot of companies that, frankly, have opportunities for improvement and margin enhancement. I think Buffett’s one of the great allocators of capital, but also part of his whole ‘schtick’ is not getting involved in the management of any of the businesses that he’s acquired.”
6. “We felt that the next generation of leadership is gonna do less of the big Warren Buffett-type acquisitions and more of actually optimizing the portfolio” — detailing one of his reasons for investing in Berkshire, along with its attractive valuation and the promise of bigger stock buybacks.
7. “We’ve handed our capital to Warren to invest, but he’s handicapped a bit because he’s lugging around hundreds of billions of dollars” — on the thinking that led Pershing to sell its Berkshire stake. Ackman and his team were surprised Buffett didn’t deploy Berkshire’s cash more aggressively when the pandemic caused markets to tank in the spring.
8. “We have probably lost more money in Berkshire …read more
Source:: Businessinsider – Finance