(The Street) Jim Cramer has favorite billionaires and Cathie Wood isn't one of them. Here they are.
Do we have too many billionaire investors? There was a time when being a billionaire investor was a real big deal. You wanted to listen to them and hang on their every word, or how else could they be billionaires?
These days, billionaires are millionaires a dozen. We can't even catalogue them and for the most part they made their billions being excellent fundraisers, or storied ladies and gents from private equity they didn't start themselves or private hedge funds that made some incredible moves either long ago or long enough ago that I don't pay attention much to what they have to say.
But a billionaire always gets the mike, any mike, and there are very few that have different views than the following: the government is printing too much money, the Fed is buying too many bonds, the Fed chief is ignoring inflation which will not help anyone and that we are already about as good as it gets so why not taper purchases and start raising rates. That's obviously a very sound position, one that is pretty time honored and the only presumed billionaire I follow, Cathie Wood, seems to disagree. She's calling for a collapse in commodities which would then quell inflation and, talking her book, like everyone else, would bring her investing style back in favor. Wood does have history on her side in that giant waves of inflation actually do subside with tougher Fed action and her wildly expensive price on sales or "pre-revenue" stocks get their multiples back.
So what do you do when you hear billionaires talk knowing that they aren't as important as they used to be given that there are many of them and they might even be part of Gresham's law where the good drives out the bad?
I actually look for ones that aren't talking their book or have the humility to admit they have been wrong. Maybe that's why I pay so much attention to Stan Druckenmiller and Dave Tepper, two hedge fund managers who really run their family money and run it well.
Tuesday when Stan talked on Squawk Box I found his reasoning, which is pretty much the party line I described, rather heated but basically pretty darned sound, sound enough that it shook my view that Jay Powell will be right in keeping things loose. I still believe in Jay because I like his pro-worker, pro-downtrodden stance. However, it was disconcerting to hear Stan remind me that a bout of inflation that gets out of control hurts the downtrodden more than the rich because, well, the rich are rich -- my circular reasoning now his.
But then he admitted that his book was a long one, that he is basically hedging himself by owning a lot of stock relatively for someone his age, at least -- Buffett notwithstanding with the hundred year worldview -- and he made a lot of money last year. He's articulating what could happen sprinkled with how he can be wrong and has been wrong at times.
A billionaire who is honest, tells the truth and is humble.
There are not a lot of those.
Tepper? He is a classic John Maynard Keynes figure: If the facts change, he changes his mind, too. He tells you what he is doing NOW which may or may not be what he is doing soon. If you follow him you aren't being fair to him or yourself. He tells you what he is doing and why and how it is often contrary to what should be happening.
Again, totally enlightening. I love listening to him because he is that rare combination of rigor and commonsense. Plus, it's just hard not to like the least haughty billionaire of the lot.