David Tepper on the Market: ‘Don’t Be So Freakin’ Long’

Wall Street

David Tepper, the wildly successful hedge-fund manager who runs his $20 billion Appaloosa Management firm, is getting nervous about the market and believes investors should approach their trades with more caution now.

[via CNBC] “I’m not saying go short, I’m just saying don’t be too fricking long right now,” he told a few thousand of his colleagues at the SALT Conference in Las Vegas on Wednesday evening.

Tepper, a closely followed fund manager, expressed concerns also about deflationary pressures, weaker-than-expected U.S. growth and a European Central Bank that badly needs to ease monetary policy. “I think the ECB better ease in June,” he said, adding that he doesn’t know how far behind the curve euro-zone monetary-policy makers are. “I think they’re really, really far behind,” Tepper noted. Following his comments, S&P futures stumbled to session lows.

When asked again about the stock market. Tepper doesn’t sound bullish anymore.

“We’ll probably be okay,” but it’s time to be nervous, he says.

“Now I have a position (where) I’m long enough with exposure where I can bring it up or I can take it down,” Tepper said. “I am nervous. I think it’s nervous time.”

Asked if there are any plays he likes right now, he answered with a simple “no”.

Tepper, who in 2013 made $3.5 billion — most money of any hedge fund manager — has one of the best long-term performance track records in the hedge fund industry. His Appaloosa Management firm had an estimated 42% return in FY2013. According to Forbes, over the last five years, Tepper’s main hedge fund “has generated annualized net returns of nearly 40%—and gross returns of some 50%”.

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