It’s not something you hear everyday, but there was big news out of Baltimore in the investing world today. Bill Miller, an investment fund manager whose ability to pick stocks made him highly sought after in market watching circles, is leaving the Harbor East firm where he made his name.
On paper, Miller is buying out Legg Mason’s shares of his own firm, called LMM. But in practical terms, the deal means Miller and Legg Mason are parting ways after 35 years. It’s big news in the national financial press. In true Baltimore fashion, Miller became famous for a streak. He beat the S&P 500 for 15 straight years, from 1991-2005. The odds of that happening were pegged at 1 in 2.3 million. His method was to pick stocks that were trading below what he saw as their true value. For instance, he was an early believer in Amazon.
However, he hasn’t had the same kind of ride after the 2008 financial crisis, prompting Reuters to write that Miller is “riding off into the sunset,” and Bloomberg saying that he exits Legg Mason with “luster dimmed.” Despite some years of good returns, he wasn’t managing as much money for Legg Mason. On LMM’s website, Miller wrote that it is the “final step in a long process.”
Nevertheless, he will keep managing money. LMM has $1.8 billion in assets, and in the deal will continue to oversee the two funds that Miller bought out from Legg Mason.
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