Whitney Tilson is an American investor and former hedge fund manager. He earned his MBA from Harvard Business School while co-founding the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City. From there, he shorted Lehman Brothers during its financial crash through his now-defunct Kase Capital fund.
After his fund closed in 2017 for underperforming the market, he launched an investment newsletter called Empire Financial Research.
Tilson is regularly featured in the media and wrote for outlets like Kiplinger’s, TheStreet.com, Forbes, and Financial Times. He published several books before his newsletter, and despite his fund underperforming, he has a strong understanding of markets and often makes correct predictions.
So, what stocks does Whitney Tilson recommend?
Whitney Tilson Empire Financial Research
Empire Financial Research is Tilson’s version of the Bloomberg terminal. It provides in-depth research and analysis, along with market commentary and investment advice to its subscribers. His stated goal is to help people around the world become better investors through information.
The company doesn’t make money from managing client capital – instead, it’s a subscription-based investment research service. By subscribing, you’ll gain access to Tilson’s stock picks, special reports, newsletters, and other resources to help you perform due diligence in your portfolio and potential investments.
Thanks to his background at Harvard and as a hedge fund manager, Tilson helped steer clients through the dot-com crash and Great Recession, before finally underperforming in the 2010s. At his peak, he managed an estimated $200 million, and he correctly predicted the 2018 bitcoin bubble and cannabis collapse leading into the pandemic.
He’s not always right, but he does make some courageous moves that doomed other traders. One of his most controversial calls was Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA).
Whitney Tilson Tesla View
Tilson made a bold call on Tesla in March 2019 – he shorted the fabled electric vehicle company, predicting it would drop to $100 per share. It was sitting near $300 at the time and ended up more than doubling since.
Shares traded at over $600 a year later, split at 5-for-1, and are still sitting around $600 two years down the road.
He managed to get out of the short in time, citing the brand’s (and founder Elon Musk’s) cult following as the reason why. However, the share prices did drop by nearly half in the time he shorted, and he started to see signs of another Tesla bubble by the end of 2020.
This shows that Tilson doesn’t just pick a side and stick with it. He continues researching and analyzing an investment to find the right times to go long or short.
And he’s overall bullish on Tesla as a company. It’s not because of current or future car sales, but instead the possibility of autonomous vehicles replacing human drivers. However, he understands it will be a long road there over the next decade as the technology is perfected and rolled out to the general public.
Besides Tesla, let’s look at what else is in Tilson’s stock portfolio.
Whitney Tilson Stock Portfolio
Because he’s a private investor, Tilson doesn’t need to make his portfolio public. It’s difficult to track exactly what’s in it, but you can track many of his trades by subscribing to his newsletter at Empire Financial Research.
You can find some of his trades online up through 2015, which include companies like Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) and multiple transportation stocks. He bought Apple (AAPL), Netflix (NFLX), and Amazon (AMZN). However, he said in May 2020 he was selling much of his portfolio.
Beyond that, there’s not much information available publicly about what he invests in personally. We do know he loves TaaS though, thanks to the promotion of one of his private webinars. And some of his analysts believe now is a great time to enter the cannabis market.
Which TaaS Stock is Whitney Tilson Talking About?
Tilson’s most recent webinar is about transportation as a service (TaaS) 2.0. It’s not just one company he’s discussing – in fact, he’s addressing an entire technological market.
This represents his belief that companies like Uber (UBER), Lyft (LYFT), Tesla (TSLA), and others building autonomous vehicles. The idea is to run an entire fleet with one or fewer human drivers, something Musk hinted at on his most recent Joe Rogan Experience podcast appearance.
In a TaaS world, we will not buy cars and instead will order them on-demand for specific services. Because they won’t need drivers, much of the gig economy workforce can get employment elsewhere, as the driverless vehicles take over. And of course, without monthly car and insurance payments to make, we’ll have more funds freed up.
This is why Tilson often talks about TaaS stocks throughout his newsletters and webinars. It’s the wave of the future and helped change his view on Tesla over the past few years.
What Stocks Does Whitney Tilson Own?
Tilson is a private investor who doesn’t make his full portfolio available anywhere online. While you can’t see his direct portfolio, you can subscribe to his newsletter to keep up with his trades. In doing so, you’ll get a general idea of what stocks he favors.
What you can do is follow his stock picks through his newsletter. However, you should always perform your own due diligence before investing in any company.
As with any newsletter, the resource is just one tool in a complete toolbox used in due diligence. Be sure to perform your own homework before investing.
The author has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Financhill has a disclosure policy. This post may contain affiliate links or links from our sponsors.