Monday, September 13, 2010

The Mad Hedge Fund Trader Interviews Bill Fleckenstein

1) Bill Fleckenstein, Legendary Hedge Fund Manager, on Hedge Fund Radio. My guest on Hedge Fund Radio this week is the legendary hedge fund manager Bill Fleckenstein, president of Fleckenstein Capital, based in Seattle, Washington.

Bill graduated from the University of Washington with a major in Mathematics, and joined the prestigious Wall Street firm Kidder Peabody in 1979. In 1982 he launched his own firm, following in the footsteps of the great hedge fund pioneers like George Soros, Julian Robertson, and Michael Steinhart.

He became a highly controversial figure during the nineties by warning of the dangers of the dotcom bubble. Bill stuck to his convictions and cashed in big time in the collapse that followed, riding some of his short positions down to zero.

Fleck, as he is known to his friends, was a vociferous critic of the Fed’s easy money policies during the 2000’s. He published a bestselling book, Greenspan’s Bubble: The Age of Ignorance at the Federal Reserve in January of 2008.

Fleck ran a short only hedge fund which he closed within days of the March 2009 bottom in the stock market, and returned the capital to his ecstatic investors. Since then he has been predominantly long investments that are beneficiaries of the relentless running of the printing presses in Washington, such as gold and the Canadian dollar. He still keeps in his office a six foot high stuffed black bear, wearing a blue “Dow 10,000” baseball hat, given him by a client. Note to readers: Bill doesn’t play in the ETF space, but I have included the relevant stock symbols for the convenience of individual investors.

Bill is sitting a major position in gold (GLD) these days, both in the physical and through the major miners, Newmont Mining (NEM), Agnico Eagle (AEM), and Goldcorp (GG). Despite a fourfold return over the last decade, the barbarous relic is still hated by many professional money managers, which means it still has much further to rise. Falling confidence in “colored paper” (dollars) will just add fuel to the flames. Fleck is matching investments in the yellow metal with serious positions in silver and its miners. His target is nothing more specific than “UP”. (more)

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