Charlie Munger, vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway and Warren Buffett’s longtime business partner talked about stock-market speculation at the virtual annual meeting for the Daily Journal Corp. on Wednesday. He sounded the alarm on momentum driven trading mania by amateur investors.
“It’s most egregious in the momentum trading by novice investors lured in by new types of brokerage operation like Robinhood and I think all of this activity is regrettable,” he said. Munger compared the current trading activity to the historic South Sea bubble of 1720. “No one should believe Robinhood trades are free. The frenzy is fed by people who are getting commissions and other revenues out of this new bunch of gamblers.”
He also issued a warning for special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) that raise money from investors in an IPO, and then merge with a private company and take it public. “I don’t participate at all and I think the world would be better off without them,” Munger added.
During the same interview Munger was asked whether digital wallets like Apple Pay or bitcoin are the biggest threat to banking. “So I don’t think bitcoin is going to end up the medium of exchange for the world. It’s too volatile to serve well as a medium of exchange. And it’s really kind of an artificial substitute for gold. And since I never buy any gold, I never buy any bitcoin,” he said.