Hedge Fund Legend Leon Cooperman: Earning 13% in Stocks Takes Average IQ
Cooperman thinks that stocks are currently the best investment alternative, and specifically points to Sallie Mae (SLM), a very beaten down McMoRan (MMR) and aggressive share repurchaser AIG (AIG) as attractive in the following interview with Bloomberg:
On a dreary Monday morning in May, rain pelts the windows of Omega Advisors Inc.’s 31st-floor conference room in New York. Inside, Leon Cooperman and his 14 analysts are trying to come up with ways to make money amid squalling markets. In a single dismal month, half of the hedge fund’s gains for the year have evaporated.
“The market is very sick,” Cooperman says. That’s not necessarily bad news for Cooperman, 69, a blustery billionaire from the South Bronx who first made his name as a stock picker during 25 years as an analyst at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) “We have to take advantage,” he says. “What’s ridiculously priced now?”
Omega, which currently invests its $6 billion in assets mainly in U.S. stocks, has returned an average of 13.3 percent annually since Cooperman founded it in 1991, compared with 11.4 percent for other equity-oriented funds, according to Chicago- based Hedge Fund Research Inc., Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its August issue.
For more than 40 years, Cooperman has earned a reputation for consistently ferreting out the most-discounted stocks -- no matter what the overall market conditions.
“He’s not doing anything terribly fancy; he’s looking for stocks that are undervalued,” says Robert S. Salomon Jr., 75, an Omega client whose grandfather co-founded Salomon Brothers. “He’s had some great success in finding them.” Adds John Whitehead, 90, who was co-chairman of Goldman during Cooperman’s time there, “He’s been around a long time and seen bad markets and good markets, and he’s survived them all successfully.”
Link to full article: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2012-06-28/cooperman-says-earning-13-in-stocks-takes-average-iq-.html