I had the privilege to hear one of the greatest investors of our time his views on the economy, stock market and other topics: Leon Cooperman.
Cooperman is the CEO of Omega Advisors, a hedge fund with more than $6 billion under management. Omega Advisors has produced 16 percent returns for 20 years. Cooperman also worked at Goldman Sachs for 25 years.
Cooperman is pretty bullish on the U.S. economy. He thinks that GDP growth in the third quarter of this year could be 2.5 percent. He also thinks that stocks are very cheap – he says he has not seen such a cheap market in 20 years. (He based this fact on comparing stocks to CPI, inflation, and relative to their historic valuation).
Cooperman pointed out that even if there is a recession, corporate profits should only drop 15 percent to 20 percent. Analysts expect companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to earn more than $100 a share as a group.
Cooperman did not want to get into politics but could not hold himself back. He criticized President Barack Obama, calling him a populist who is attacking the wealthy. He pointed to strange things that Obama has done, such as attacking private jet owners, even though the private jet industry had nothing to do with the recession. Cooperman was hoping Obama would turn to the center after the 2010 elections, but instead he thinks that Obama has turned far left, and populist.
Cooperman is not a hardcore Republican by any stretch of the imagination. Cooperman stated that he would sit out the elections if Rick Perry won the GOP nomination, but would vote for Mitt Romney over Obama. Cooperman repeatedly attacked Obama in front of a huge audience in the heart of liberal America: Manhattan.
Cooperman is so upset about Obama that he considered running for president, but his investors wouldn’t let him.
Cooperman explained 10 main ideas that he would do if he ran for president, and some of them were pretty good.
He stated that the Department of Energy gets $30 billion and he “does not know what they do.” Since we do not even have an energy policy, he called for cuts. He called for more domestic drilling of natural gas.
Cooperman also wants to raise the retirement age to 70 except for workers in hard manual labor.
Cooperman seems to believe that despite having an awful president, investors should be bullish about the economy and U.S. stocks.
It is important for investors to realize this point: regardless of who is in the Oval Office it likely won’t affect a stock like Apple or Microsoft.
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