Institutional Investor Hall of Famer Richard Bernstein is sounding the alarm on bitcoin.
He warns bitcoin is a bubble and crypto fever is pushing investors away from the market groups positioned to grab the biggest gains, particularly oil.
“It’s pretty wild,” the CEO and CIO of Richard Bernstein Advisors told CNBC’s “Trading Nation” on Monday. “Bitcoin has been in a bear market, and everybody loves the asset. And, oil has been in a bull market, and it’s basically, you never hear anything about it. People don’t care.”
Bernstein, who has spent decades on Wall Street, calls oil the most ignored bull market.
“We’ve got this major bull market going on in commodities, and all people are saying is that it doesn’t matter,” he said.
WTI crude oil is trading around its highest levels since October 2018. It settled at $70.88 on Monday and is up 96% over the past year.
Bitcoin may be up 13% over the past week, but it’s still down 35% over the past two months.
Even though bitcoin saw a meteoric rise last year, Bernstein suggests a run back to those levels would be unsustainable. He believes the rush to own bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has become dangerously parabolic.
“Bubbles differ from speculation in that bubbles pervade society. They go outside the financial markets,” he said. “Certainly with cryptocurrencies now, and most likely with most technology stocks, you’re starting to see that happen where people are talking about them at cocktail parties.”
Right now, Bernstein is most bullish on companies that aren’t built to innovate or disrupt the economy. He went bearish on technology stocks in 2019.
‘Your portfolio could suffer a lot’
“If you’re on the wrong side of the see-saw over the next year or two years, maybe five years, your portfolio could suffer a lot,” said Bernstein. “The side of that see-saw you want to be on is the kind of pro-inflation side which most people are not investing in.”
Bernstein predicts inflation will catch many investors by surprise, but at some point he expects the tide to turn.
“In six months or 12 months or 18 months, growth investors are going to be buying energy and materials and industrials because that’s where the growth is going to be,” Bernstein said.