During his 30 plus-year tenure at Legg Mason, Bill Miller was considered a go-to manager for market beating returns, says a recent article in The Washington Post. “And his fall from grace,” it adds, “was nearly as spectacular.”
Miller’s performance fell precipitously during the financial crisis of 2007-2008, the article reports, at which time “once-loyal clients took their billions and left,” and Miller left the firm. Working toward a comeback, says the Post, Miller is now running two mutual funds (Miller Opportunity Trust and Miller Income Fund, with assets totaling $1.7 billion) and has launched a hedge fund.
Miller is quoted as saying: “I’m taking a lot of risk here by doing these things that could go over a cliff,” but refers to his pursuits as the “next stage as opposed to the second act.” So far, according to the article, the Miller Opportunity Trust is outperforming the S&P, and Miller is testing how various technologies might be applied to the financial markets.
On the hedge fund front, perhaps the riskiest of his new ventures, Miller is “targeting one of the industry’s chief weaknesses—its high fees,” the article reports, saying the fund is betting big on the digital currency Bitcoin (unfazed by the contrary views of Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase and Blackrock’s Laurence Fink).
Miller argues that, up until the last four years or so, many viewed Amazon as a “kind of a fake thing too. Now that’s flipped over, and people now think Amazon is going to kill every company in the country. That’s what’s going to happen with Bitcoin.”