Billionaire hedge fund manager Leon Cooperman says if you don’t understand Bitcoin, it means that you’re old.
In an interview with CNBC, Cooperman, who is at the helm of Omega Advisors, went on to reveal that at 78 years old, he doesn’t get Bitcoin. As a result, his advice is to be “very careful” with the leading cryptocurrency and if you’re looking for a store-of-value (SOV) asset in an uncertain economy, go with gold.
“I’d be very careful with Bitcoin. It does not make a great deal of sense, and if you are nervous about the world, gold to me would be a better place to store value,” he said.
Bitcoin has a finite supply of 21 million coins that will ever be mined, so policymakers can’t turn the money printer on. As consumer prices have inched up this year, so too has the Bitcoin price, recently surpassing the $50,000 threshold though it has since come down from those levels to currently hover at $45,000. The gold price has largely been stuck.
Cooperman Owns “Very Little” Gold
Cooperman fell short of calling cryptocurrencies a con, which fellow billionaire and media tycoon Barry Diller said earlier this year. He did, however, point out that Bitcoin is likely to be on the radar of the U.S. government, considering that one of the cryptocurrency’s chief use cases is as a payment method, which pits it against the dollar. That’s why Cooperman urges caution with Bitcoin, saying he “doesn’t think it makes a great deal of sense.”
While Cooperman prefers gold over Bitcoin, he owns “very little” of the precious metal. He describes himself as a “paper guy” in addition to being a “perennial optimist.” The Omega Advisors chairman went on to agree with fellow billionaire Warren Buffett that “people don’t get rich shorting America.”
"If you don't understand #bitcoin, it means you're old. I'm 78. I'm old. I don't understand it," says Lee Cooperman. "I'd be very careful with #btc. It does not make a great deal of sense, and if you are nervous about the world gold to me would a better place to store value." pic.twitter.com/OANWHHjpWx— Squawk Box (@SquawkCNBC) September 9, 2021
Meanwhile, Robert Kiyosaki, author of “Rich Dad Poor Dad,” is bullish on bitcoin, gold and silver because he doesn’t trust the Fed, Treasury or stocks for that matter.
What keeps Cooperman up at night is the “artificiality in bonds, the attacking of the wealthy people, and the fact that we pulled demand forward,” vis-à-vis the Fed. The Fed has “elevated unemployment relative to inflation as the key goal of dealing with it,” he said.
Unlike Kiyosaki, Cooperman remains bullish on stocks, saying the equity markets won’t fall unless a recession is about to rear its head, which isn’t likely to happen for another year or longer.
In this investing environment, Cooperman is like a kid in the playground. He has been overweight energy since early 2021 and has only added to the position since.