From bubble rumblings to increased volatility and everything in between, 2014 has been quite a year on the stock market. And in 2015, things could get even more interesting.
Based on shareholder letters and other writings from George Soros, Carl Icahn, Steve Mandel and other billionaire investors as well as data gathered by iBillionaire, here are four predictions for the year ahead.
1. U.S. Is the Best Place to Invest
Europe barely dodged recession in November, but the region is nowhere near out of the woods yet. In a column entitled Wake Up, Europe, billionaire George Soros addressed the issue, contending “the European Union in general and the Eurozone in particular lost their way after the financial crisis of 2008.”
In other words, Europe hasn’t bounced back. The United States, however, has.
In his third-quarter letter to Lone Pine Capital investors, Steve Mandel, that firm’s founder, highlighted the pace of the U.S. stock market in 2014, driven by what he called a “triumvirate” of large-capitalization, healthy dividend players, management change/activist situations, and “big dream” companies.
Third Point LLC head Dan Loeb echoed Mandel’s U.S. optimism in his own Q3 letter to investors. “Going forward, we expect that the U.S. will remain the best place to invest,” he wrote. The billionaire’s letter also demonstrates waning optimism on Japan – a market Loeb was eager to attack just a year ago.
2. Icahn Says Apple Is Undervalued
In November, The Economist asked Carl Icahn to write 850 words advising investors on how to profit in 2015. His response? To follow him on Twitter (actually a pretty worthwhile endeavor) and, on a more serious note, look at Apple (AAPL).
The billionaire, who owns 53 million shares of Apple, believes that Apple is still greatly undervalued, and in the piece, he provided an explanation as for why: “The answer is a pervasive misunderstanding among investors and Wall Street analysts: they think Apple is a hardware company when in reality it’s a company that sells an entire ecosystem of hardware, software, and services.”
It’s worth noting that not everyone is as bullish on Apple as Icahn. In fact, during the third quarter of the year, a number of big-name investors reduced their positions in the company, including Ray Dalio, Julian Robertson, George Soros, David Einhorn and Leon Cooperman.