Who is Michael Burry? Biography, portfolio and predictions

Michael Burry Biography

Michael Burry is that eccentric trader who rose to world fame in 2008 for predicting the sub-prime crisis in the United States, several years before its explosion. Because of this remarkable success, he achieved public notoriety later with the film “The big short”, in which he was played by actor Cristian Bale.

Retired from public life and focused on his own portfolio since the late 2000s, Burry has become a benchmark for traders and investors across the globe.

In this Market Times biography, we review his life, his role in the 2008 crisis and, a little closer to here, learn about how he currently manages his portfolio as well as what forecasts he has made for the world economy in the short and long term. Do not miss it!

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Who is Michael Burry?

Michael Burry was born on June 19, 1971 in San Jose, California, United States. Academically trained as a neurologist, he gave up practicing medicine early to pursue his passion: hedge fund management.

He created his own fund with the help of outside capital in 2000, called the Scion Capital LLC Fund. Under this firm, he traded until 2008, when his risky positions against the US economy paid off and he made huge profits on his historic short sale against mortgage bonds. Since 2008 he has been exclusively managing his own personal investments.

Burry is married with two children. He is diagnosed with  Autism Spectrum Disorder, something that according to him, has given him some advantages in terms of his profession with finance.

Michael Burry in the movie “The Big Short”

In 2015, the award-winning film director Adam McKay released his renowned feature film called “The big short” (“The big bet” or “The big shot”, in Spanish). It describes all the events prior to the sub-prime crisis that occurred in the United States during 2006 and 2007.

The film tells the story of a group of a dozen investors who detect that mortgage bonds were badly priced and badly managed, and that the US mortgage market was going through a real estate bubble. The tip of the thread of this revelation is found by the character of Burry, played by actor Cristian Bale.

Thanks to this film, it became known how this investor managed to see, through macroeconomic and financial indicators, what was about to happen, and that what was happening was a bubble.

Burry became very famous because of this work of cinema, which has become cult material for movie-going traders.

Michael Burry Estate

Michael Burry is one of the best traders in history and one of the richest men in the worldBurry’s fortune is currently estimated at a little over US$300 million. But, that’s just his personal account, we could say.

The hedge fund with which he manages his capital, dubbed Scion Asset Management, is known to manage more than $680 million.

A part of this heritage was obtained with that 2005 bet against the US mortgage market. There it had benefits of 100 billion dollars, making investors and clients of the hedge fund that it managed at that time earn about 700 billion dollars. Of course, as the film shows, he had to endure losses for two years in a row until his investment movement paid off.

What does Michael Burry invest in?

Now we propose you know what Burry is investing in. In the first half of 2022, this famous investor sent a report detailing his movements in the stock market to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), thanks to which we can know his vision about the immediate future of the American and international markets.

The Wall Street guru made the decision to abandon his positions in the United States to focus on Asia. Burry held assets of more than $150 billion in that country, but as of the end of June, he had only held positions worth about $60 billion and in a single asset.

In addition to having a common geographic region (the Asian tigers), Burry has invested in mid-caps, which are not usually favorites for American investors, even though they typically project much greater headroom for growth than large-caps from market. In addition, they are companies with a healthy and robust cash flow and with good operating margins.

Michael Burry’s portfolio in 2023

Let’s see then the detail of Michael Burry’s portfolio currently (this article is written at the beginning of November 2023):

  • United States: As we have previously mentioned, it has only kept a minority part of its portfolio in its country of origin. Most of the roles are invested in the GEO Group, a company related to the health and home and residential care sectors for the elderly in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and South Africa.
  • Great Britain: Burry owns shares in two companies here: SCS Group, dedicated to the retail sale of furniture, and Warpaint London, a firm for the distribution and wholesale sale of cosmetic products. Both have a rapid growth in recent years.
  • Japan: Six of the ten largest Burry positions are located there. We found Yotai Refractories, a building materials trading company; Kantsu, a logistics services company; Hanatour Japan, a tour and travel agency; Tazmo, dedicated to the manufacture of semiconductors; Sansei Technologies, which provides technical installation services, and finally Daisue Construction, another company linked to the construction sector.
  • South Korea: In this Southeast Asian country, its investment fund maintains a strong commitment to the software development company Ezwell, a firm with double-digit upward valuation figures for the last five years.

Michael Burry: Predictions

Burry has been in the news several times during the current year and has appeared in all the media specializing in capital markets and finance. The reason? His negative predictions of her about the global economy in general, and about the North American market in particular.

In this regard, he has repeatedly stated that the US economy will soon suffer a severe collapse. With such conviction, his investment fund shed 11 positions in the best American stocks in less than six months, which included market heavyweights such as Alphabet, Inc. (owner of Google) or Meta Platforms, Inc. (the company of Mark Zuckerberg, behind Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and the recent search for the Metaverse).

In the USA, Scion only kept the papers of the aforementioned group Geo Group, Inc., which manages prisons and networks of health residences in the United States and other English-speaking countries. We should mention that we are only talking about the long positions held by the Scion Asset Management group, since the short ones are not reported to the SEC in the form of an affidavit.

Through his Twitter account, Burry declared just a few months ago that he believed that the market in his nation “had not yet hit bottom” and that a crisis “similar to that of 2008” could come. He even compared the current scenario with those of 2008, 2000 and even 1929! All forceful crashes of the stock market and international stock markets.

Burry and cryptocurrencies

On the other hand, leaving the stock market a bit and concentrating on the new trends, the opinion of this finance expert on what is happening with the world of cryptocurrencies is still interesting.

In the opinion of doctor, neurologists and investor, the era of cryptocurrencies has also reached a breaking point. For him, cryptocurrencies will also suffer significant bearishness, possibly leading to a market crash.

Investors are responsible for this, according to him, as he explained on Twitter at the beginning of August when he said that “foolishness has once again reigned in the markets” and that this “has transformed the” bulls ” into “bubbles”. Such publication was deleted by Burry himself just a few days later.

Another of the phrases that has remained in the minds of investors has been when he mentioned that “there is more pain to come for the stock market.” This is because of the “meme market“, where social networks facilitate the manipulation of the wishes of investors and end up behaving like herds.

Such behavior especially affects the crypto market, where the volatility of these assets makes them high risk, so nothing seems to prevent Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies from continuing their free fall.

Burry‘s verbatim words on Twitter about it were: “Crypto crash. check. Meme crash, check. ENG crash, check. Inflation, check. 2000, check. 2008, check. 2022, check”.

Final notes

We have concluded our biography of Michael Burry, an undoubtedly eccentric and particular character, but at the same time unquestionably successful and who can teach us a lot. We hope that this new installment on the most successful traders in the world together with the review on what they invest in has been of interest and useful to you.

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Is Michael Burry a real person?

Yes, sure, it is. He is a 52-year-old investor residing in Saratoga, California. After reaching his fortune in 2008 by betting against the US economy, Burry became popular with the public for a characterization that was made of him in the film “The big short” of 2015.

What does Burry advise investing in?

This trader does not usually advise his followers as others do. However, he is very active on his Twitter account, from where he has repeatedly analyzed that he sees the US economy declining and that the crypto market will suffer a crash that will serve to clean it of projects. From his movements, it seems that Burry has faith in companies from capitalist Asia, such as the Japanese or the South Korean ones.