“Shark Tank” star Kevin O’Leary has warned against the bet made by Michael Burry against the S&P 500 citing that it might be very painful. Precisely, he stated that the bet might be painful for “Big Short” investors in the interim. The reasons behind his prediction are the fact that the index is diversified and shorting stocks is highly risky.
You get lucky once, Kevin O’Leary Says
Speaking on Wednesday in an interview with Fox News where he tried to highlight the challenges bordering on predicting market movements, O’Leary said “People that try to live off market timing have a very hard time. You get lucky once as he did with housing syndication in mortgage debt, but this is a whole different kettle of fish he’s playing with.”
“To say that I know when the market is going down – he will be right one day, when is unknown. And how much pain he will have to take along the way, and does he have enough dry powder, as they like to say, at the margin desk? Because every time that market goes up another 1-2%, that phone is ringing and they’re saying ‘send in some more cash,” he added.
The “Shark Tank” star’s comment came right after Burry explained that he had bagged bearish options on two Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) that follow the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 last quarter. The notional value of his investment against the two benchmark indexes amounted to $1.6 billion. O’Leary acknowledged the bet as a brave move, referring to the wide range of stocks and sectors included in the bet.
Burry’s fame came with the subprime mortgage crisis bet
O’Leary recalled a certain time when Burry made a bet on the subprime mortgage crisis and made a personal profit of about $100 million. While he recorded profits, O’Leary clarified that the success at the time was quite different as the betting conditions were also different. At the time, Burry was tracking a single sector which is not the case presently.
This time around, the S&P 500 has 500 mega-cap companies from 11 sectors including real estate. This also applies to Nasdaq 100, hence, all involved companies will have to go down at the same time for the bet to be won, per O’Leary’s statement.