Bill Miller Praises Amazon Stocks, Bitcoin, Warns of New Era of Investments

  • Bill Miller praised his longtime bets on Amazon and bitcoin during a recent podcast.
  • Investors are in a new era of rising rates and inflation, said the head of Miller Value Partners.
  • Miller took aim at Warren Buffett’s criticism of bitcoin as an unproductive and worthless asset.

Bill Miller touted his signature bets on Amazon stocks and bitcoin, diagnosed a new paradigm for investors, and took aim at Warren Buffett’s infamous critiques of cryptocurrencies during a recent episode of the “Richer, Wiser, Happier” podcast.

The founder and head of investments at Miller Value Partners – which holds 80% of his personal wealth in Amazon and bitcoin – also lamented the current market downturn and highlighted emerging buying opportunities for courageous investors.

Here are the top 10 Miller quotes, lightly edited for length and clarity:

1. “Since November of last year, tuition has been very high for me, a very dear lesson. I should ask President Biden for some student debt forgiveness here for the tuition payments I made.” (Miller was joking about what he learned from watching Amazon, bitcoin and other major holdings fall in value.)

2. “I got margin calls, and that’s painful because you have to sell things you don’t want to sell. So once things are sold, you also have to pay taxes. I don’t like paying taxes any more than next person.” (Miller noted that his cost base in Amazon stock and bitcoin was effectively zero, so he would have to pay significant taxes on his earnings.)

3. “We’re in a regime change. It’s a different investment environment when you have secularly rising interest rates, secularly rising inflation, the Fed tightening and war in Ukraine.”

4. “When people say, ‘What’s the best investment decision you’ve ever made?’ Buying Amazon at IPO. ‘Which is the worst of all time?’ Selling a part of Amazon.”

5. “We tended to look for things that, ideally, you wouldn’t have to sell because they hit your valuation goal. If that valuation goal keeps advancing at a fairly rapid rate, that’s great, because you can be, as Buffett says, to always. The kind of business he likes to buy and keep at Berkshire Hathaway.”

6. “One of the things I really like about this market is that you can basically buy leveraged public buyouts. They have a lot of debt on their balance sheet, but that debt is going to disappear over the next few years. The best thing that has happened to them is inflation, because the debt is fixed cost and interest rates are rising, so the value of your debt obligations is falling in real terms.”

7. “Bitcoin is the only economic entity in the world where supply is not affected by demand.” (Miller noted that if the price of gold goes up, more people will mine gold and the supply will increase, while there is a fixed supply of bitcoin.)

8. “I consider bitcoin an insurance policy against financial catastrophes.” (Miller gave the example of a national government privatizing a country’s banks and emptying its citizens’ accounts, and suggested that bitcoin would provide an escape from seizures.)

9. “Buffet said, ‘I wouldn’t give you $25 for all the bitcoins in the world.’ He said bitcoin is a non-productive asset and therefore he cannot value it. Fair enough. If the only thing you think you can value are productive assets, then no one is forcing you to buy it, right? Then ignore it . The purpose of investing is not to own productive assets, the purpose is to make money.”

10. “Mike Novogratz got a big tattoo of Luna on his arm months ago, with the wolf howling at the moon. It’s like, ‘Whoa, maybe you should have a bitcoin beaver on your arm, or something a little longer lasting. ‘ “

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