- Chamath Palihapitiya said he’s exited his Tesla bet, allowing him to focus on other investment projects.
- “I’m a meager guy with meager means,” the billionaire investor said at CNBC’s Delivering Alpha Conference on Wednesday.
- He said he’s “very concerned” about medium-term inflation, and is looking at three ways to hedge.
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Billionaire investor Chamath Palihapitiya, who was once bullish on Tesla, has exited his position in the electric vehicle maker to generate cash to fund other investments, he told CNBC’s Scott Wapner in an interview Wednesday.
“I don’t have an infinite pool of capital,” the billionaire, who shot to prominence last year by launching several SPACs, said. “I don’t raise funds. I can’t go to other people. And so, when I have these ideas the money has to come from someplace.”
“The only other solution would be for me to get totally levered up. And I’m just not comfortable with that risk,” he added. “You know, I’m a meager guy with meager means.”
Palihapitiya told CNBC in January this year that Tesla’s stock price could triple from around $810 per share at the time, and advised investors not to sell a share. But the investor exited from his own position “in the last year or so.”
Tesla was a big stock market winner last year, achieving one milestone after another as it entered the S&P 500 index to cap off a good year for growth stocks. While the stock soared 743% in 2020, it is up only about 11% so far this year. It was last trading at $781 per share on Thursday.
Palihapitiya said he’s still bullish on Tesla, but his thesis has changed slightly. He admitted that he “completely underestimated” that the EV market could be so big.
“When you see it now, the market has flipped,” he said, pointing to car manufacturers like Ford and General Motors racing to electrify their fleets. “So I actually think now that Tesla will be very busy just being a best-in-class EV car company.”
Palihapitiya also spoke of his worries about inflation at the Delivering Alpha conference, saying he is “very concerned” about medium-term risks.
As for what hedges he’s looking at, the billionaire said he’s focused on hypergrowth companies (those that grow more than 50% a year), cash-generating assets, and other assets such as bitcoin and solana.
“When we are back to normal, if we go through an inflationary period, you’ll want the thing that was growing a lot, not the thing that was growing a little bit,” he said. “And you’ll want the thing that was generating a ton of cash because in a rising rate environment that has very positive attributes that work in your favor.”
He also revealed he’s invested hundreds of millions into bitcoin, and said it’s hard for regulators to kill crypto.