Mark Spiegel : Don`t All In The Market Right Now
(Mon, 1 Jun 2020). Hedge fund manager Mark Spiegel is long-term bullish on the stock market but says it`s "mental" to get carried away without big a big downside hedge in place.
Mark Spiegel’s fund beat the stock market in May thanks to some carefully-selected value stocks. But he said it would be “mental” to go fully long without hedging for a significant downturn. His fund also remains bearish on Tesla despite losing more than $1 million in short bets. The bulletproof stock market has shrugged off a global health crisis, new China tensions and now riots across America. Even the bears have to admit, this is a strong recovery for stocks.
So, is it time to go all-in on the stock market? Not so fast, says the Mark Spiegel, head of Stanphyl Capital and notorious Tesla bear. In his latest monthly update, the outspoken investor revealed he is carefully buying value stocks at this moment in time. But it would be “mental” do to do so without an enormous hedge to the downside. That said, he still thinks a combination of U.S. equities and gold are the best option for long-term traders.
How Spiegel Beat The Stock Market In May
Spiegel’s fund returned 5.9% in May, out-performing the S&P 500 (+4.8%). Spiegel balances these careful bets with a series of hedges. First of which is a large position in gold which is knocking on the door of its record high due to market and monetary uncertainty. Second is a massive dollar-equivalent hedge of, what Spiegel calls “very expensive stocks.” In other words, he shorts the Nasdaq 100 (via QQQ) to hedge against a possible bubble burst.
Spiegel joked that the fund would have performed even better without the hedge, but he wouldn’t dream of going long without that protection in place. The Nasdaq climbed almost 10% in May and is now positive for the year.
What Does His Portfolio Look Like?
The fund is actively targeting cash-rich, ‘value’ companies, based on an enterprise value-to-revenue model. It’s a model often used to help price acquisitions, which is something Spiegel is looking for when he picks stocks. Among the fund’s picks are Communications Systems Inc (NASDAQ: JCS) – a company in the internet-of-things space, and Amtech (NASDAQ: ASYS) – a semiconductor producer. Spiegel is avoiding anything ‘consumer-facing’ or real-estate related, which he believes will struggle in the coming recession.
Short Tesla – The ‘Single Biggest Bubble’ On The Stock Market
Of course, Spiegel is best-known for his stubbornly bearish bet against Elon Musk. The fund has been short Tesla since 2014 – a position that has lost Spiegel more than $1 million so far. He’s still doubling down on that bet. In May’s investor update, he re-iterated that Tesla is “not a viable business” and demand is shrinking.
He also refers to Musk as a “securities fraud-committing pathological liar” and slammed the new Cybertruck as a “joke of a pickup truck.” After shedding half its value in the recent selloff, Tesla has since paired most of the losses. Spiegel’s Tesla short may keep hurting the fund for a little while longer.
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