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Howard Marks on Bitcoin: ‘Not an Investment…It’s a Trade’


Jul. 30 2018, Updated 10:31 a.m. ET

Howard Marks on Bitcoin

Billionaire investor and the co-founder of Oaktree Capital Management Howard Marks shared his views on Bitcoin at the Delivering Alpha Conference on July 23.

Marks believes Bitcoin won’t be able to provide long-term investment goals. He feels it doesn’t have any intrinsic value or any real fundamentals. He said, “It’s not an investment…it’s a trade. In the long run, I think it will be shown not to have any substance.” He added that investors are buying bitcoin with the only hope that “someone will buy it from them at a higher price. Not because they can specify its intrinsic benefits. Not because they can judge the intrinsic value. But only because they think it’s going up.”

Bitcoin walked a bullish path in 2017. It rose 1,300% and hit a record high of $17,549 on December 11. However, it has been struggling in 2018. On a year-to-date basis, it fell nearly 43% as of July 26.

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The Bitcoin Investment Fund (GBTC) has fallen 47% on a year-to-date basis as of July 26. In contrast, the S&P 500 Index (SPY) gained 6.1%. Although the equity market showed some nervousness in the first half of 2018, it recovered this month. The weakness was mainly due to rising concerns about a global trade war and the Fed’s faster rate hike process.

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