June 19, 1971
San Jose, California
About Michael Burry
Michael Burry was born on June 19, 1971, in San Jose, California. He earned his bachelor’s degree in economics at the University of California in Los Angeles and then attended medical school at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, earning his M.D. degree. After completing his medical education, Burry served as a neurology resident at Stanford Hospital and Clinics for a short period and spent his spare time focusing on investing.
His passion for investing and finance eventually led him to switch careers. Burry began teaching himself about investments and financial markets, developing a deep interest in value investing. By the mid-1990s, Burry had already made a name for himself as a fund manager by participating in investment forums and using his website to publicize his economic predictions.
He used his inheritance and loans from family to launch his hedge fund, Scion Capital, in 2000, which he managed with a focus on contrarian investing strategies.
Burry was successful early on with his hedge fund Scion Capital. While the S&P 500 was falling over 11% in 2001, Scion Capital had a 55% return to its investors. Burry then capitalized on the internet bubble by shorting overvalued tech stocks.
Burry later became widely known for his early recognition of the impending subprime mortgage crisis in the mid-2000s. He conducted in-depth research and analysis on the housing market, which led him to bet against the subprime mortgage bonds through credit default swaps. His foresight and successful investment decisions during the crisis brought him considerable attention and financial gains.
By shorting the residential real estate market and persuading investment firms such as Goldman Sachs to sell him credit default swaps against subprime deals, Burry made a personal profit of $100 million and over $700 million in profit for his investors. Between its November 2000 inception and June 2008, Scion Capital recorded returns of 489.34%.
After his success with the housing market bet, Burry closed his hedge fund, Scion Capital, in 2008. He later became more private and stayed away from the limelight. However, he continued his investing activities with his own money, managing Scion Asset Management and focusing on investments in gold, farmland, and water.
Throughout his career, Burry has been known for his deep analytical approach to investing and his willingness to go against the prevailing market sentiment when he believes his analysis justifies it. Burry’s investment style has been centered around value investing, which involves identifying undervalued assets and holding them for the long term.
While he gained notoriety for his housing market prediction, Burry has made other notable investments in various sectors over the years. In April 2020, he indicated the risk of post-pandemic inflation, just weeks after the first COVID-19 related lockdowns occurred.
The Big Short
Michael Burry was portrayed by Christian Bale in the 2015 movie The Big Short, which was based on the book of the same name by Michael Lewis. The film chronicled the events leading up to the financial crisis and highlighted Burry’s significant role in identifying the risks in the housing market.
The Big Short film won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay and is generally acclaimed as an innovative depiction of Wall Street greed and the complicated events of the 2008 global economic crisis and The Great Recession.
Michael Burry Today
Michael Burry is married and has two sons. He currently lives in Saratoga, California.
At age 35, Burry was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, after his son was diagnosed with the same disorder and he recognized the symptoms in himself. Burry struggles with social awkwardness, making eye contact, and making friends. “It took all my energy to look someone in the eye,” he said. He has also explained that it’s not in his nature to make friends and he’s “happy in his own head.”
Burry continues to make selective investments and make predictions about the U.S. economy. He is recognized for his unique investing strategy, finding value anywhere and everywhere without being influenced by popular market sentiments. Burry bases his investments on technical analysis and commonly invests in out-of-favor sectors of the market.
Burry aims for quality, not quantity, when making investments. His portfolio typically has a small number of investments with good value and a margin of safety. Burry continues to run Scion Asset Management LLC, a private investment firm where he manages $201 million in assets, according to the company’s 2022 SEC filings.
The finance world and stock market continue to watch Burry’s investments and follow his economic predictions. In the summer of 2022, Burry predicted that U.S. inflation would fall within months, which did occur when price growth went from 9.1% in June 2022 to 3% in June 2023.
Burry also predicted in 2022 that the stock market would crash, with the market bubble ending in the “mother of all crashes,” and that the U.S. would see a recession after Americans exhausted their savings. Although this prediction hasn’t become a reality, Burry continues to be known as a contrarian whose bets are watched closely.
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- Xie, Y., & Bloomberg. (2023, May 16). ‘Big Short’ investor Michael Burry is betting big on China tech as other hedge funds have cooled on Beijing. Fortune. https://fortune.com/2023/05/16/big-short-investor-michael-burry-betting-big-china-tech-other-hedge-funds-have-cooled-beijing/
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