Sam Zell, John Burbank Have Finding Value Outside the US: SALT

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Sam Zell had a one on one with Erik Schatzker of Bloomberg TV at the SALT Conference in Las Vegas. In between the Kobe beef tacos, high stakes holdem games and other fun, ValueWalk also is reporting some of the investment news from the conference. Earlier this week we brought you an exclusive report on John Paulson. Sam Zell also had some interesting remarks on where he is investing today. We have some notes on Sam Zell as well as another panel titled ‘Inside Access: Top Investment Picks and Viewpoints for the Year Ahead’ featuring Leon Cooperman and John Burbank among others. We have informal notes on both topics below. Note: Some of Burbank’s remarks were similar to topics he discussed in his Q1 letter, which can be found here.

Sam Zell, John Burbank Have Finding Value Outside the US: SALT

Sam Zell at SALT

1. Sam Zell Spent his life disregarding conventional wisdom, that is his main focus when he thinks about investing.

2. Real Estate is really an inflation hedge for a portfolio of investments in his view.

3. Currently he thinks the problem with the economy is the misallocation of resources, and it will be readjusted.

4. He doesn’t agree with redistribution of wealth and policies of the administration. Zell believes that people might abandon US citizenship status if forced to do this.

5. Currently Mexican and Brazilian investors are buying local currencies and dumping the dollar.

6. He only holds 30% of real estate in his portfolio, which is a record low for him.

7. His best deal: a mobile home company, that produced 17% linear compound since 1984 until today. His next best investment is Anixter, holding a considerable ownership since 1987, currently $7 billion in revenues.

8. Sears Holdings Corp (NASDAQ:SHLD) and J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) will have big problems with online competitors  (Joel Greenblatt commentated that he is shorting  J.C. Penney Company).

9. Commercial Real Estate is not a good investment, 15% vacancy rate, excess supply

John Burbank:
No longer interested in investing in China, only interested in ecommerce companies in China. Global cycle is starting the shift from production to consumption. Currently investing in high-quality beta US stocks and energy and pipelines companies. Also, investing in Saudi Arabia.

Jeffrey Kronthal, Managing Partner & Co-Chief Investment Officer, KLS Diversified Asset Management LP:

Fed saved the economy with QE. He is currently shorting TIPS.

Oscar  Schafer, Chairman, Rivulet Capital.

Long in Hertz Global Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:HTZ), best investment in his opinion.

Leon Cooperman also spoke:

He believes that the environment for bond investing is not good right now.

His best investments as of today: Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C), American International Group Inc (NYSE:AIG), Transocean LTD (NYSE:RIG), Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S). He also likes Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) as we reported yesterday.

John Bader, Chairman & Chief Investment Officer, Halcyon Asset Management:

Focus in liquidations right now (e.g. Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. (OTCMKTS:LEHMQ) debt, Madoff debt).

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