Biden’s Win: The Highest Expected Return Bet

Whitney Tilson’s email to investors discussing the highest expected return bet he has seen in a while, just buy Joe Biden to win the election.

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Q3 2020 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

My aim with my daily e-mails is to educate, entertain, and enrich.

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I think I've done a reasonably good job with the first two points, but not so much on the enriching front... though I'd give myself high marks for warning my readers away from overpriced stock promotions like electric-truck maker Nikola (NKLA) and plastics recycler Loop Industries (LOOP), as well as now-bankrupt German payments-processor Wirecard (WDI.DE) and car-rental company Hertz (HTZ).

In part, this is because we save our best stock ideas for our five paid newsletters: Empire Stock Investor, Empire Investment Report, Empire Elite Trader, Empire Elite Growth, and Empire SPAC Investor.

But today, I'm publicly sharing the highest expected return bet I've seen in a while – an opportunity to make 54% in six days...

Buy Joe Biden To Win The Election

Just buy Joe Biden to win the election at $0.65 cents "per share" (meaning real-money bettors give Biden a 65% chance of victory) on betting website PredictIt here.

There are only two possible outcomes: if Biden wins, you'll get paid $1 per share – a $0.35 (54%) profit – whereas if President Donald Trump wins, you'll lose all of your money.

(PredictIt only allows bets up to $850 for each of its "markets," but I've found seven other markets with similar odds (here, here, here, here, here, here, and here) that are directly or highly correlated with a Biden win, so you can bet as much as $6,800 if you wish.)

Why do I think this is a very high expected return bet? Because the model of FiveThirtyEight – a website I've been following for years, which I think is the best assessor of polls and odds anywhere (and which has made me a lot of money on PredictIt) – says that Biden is 89% likely to win (you can see the site's presidential forecast here).

This is a huge 24-percentage-point gap in your favor – one of the widest I've ever seen in the three elections I've been following on these two websites.

More Predictions About The Outcome Of The Elections

Don't believe FiveThirtyEight? Well, The Economist's model gives Biden a 96% chance of winning. Or check out the Public Superforecasts site, which tracks the predictions of proven "Superforecasters," who give Biden an 85% chance of winning. (Here's a great book about it: Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction. The website also has lots of other interesting markets about the coronavirus and various economic measures.)

Or, if you want to make your own assessment of the odds based on the latest state and national polls, you can see them on the New York Times website here. Below are the results of the 17 national polls that were released yesterday and this morning:

Biden's Win

(I hesitate to share this idea because I might anger Trump supporters. But to be clear: I'm not making a political statement about what I want to happen – this is merely my best, unemotional assessment of the odds. If the odds for the candidates were reversed, I'd be betting on Trump.)