Cody Willard, the general manager of CL Willard Capital Partners, is a hedge fund manager who disseminates his views on stocks, geopolitics and rock-and-roll via his newsletters, columns and blogs.
In cnbc.com’s exclusive OUTLOOK '07 series, Willard spoke with CNBC’s Bianna Golodryga about YouTube, Vista and the new tech boom.
Willard chides “perma-bears” for seeing only the disaster of the 2000-2001 dot-com meltdown, declaring that since then, “there’s been a nice, steady rise – a steady ‘boom’ in tech.” He sees a “healthy, self-reinforcing cycle away from housing in years to come” – unless the Federal Reserve missteps.
The stock-picker touched on Microsoft’s imminent release of Vista, the latest incarnation of its Windows operating system. While some have slammed Bill Gates’s software colossus for the long delay in releasing Vista, he says that “pundits” are missing the value: “For the first time since 1996, there’s been a whole overhaul, re-haul” of Windows, which will spur software sales.
Willard believes digital video is just beginning to blossom. “YouTube hit a homerun in the first inning,” he muses, “but it’s like the original three TV networks” just scraping the surface of television’s potential. As an example of new possibilities, he says, “I look at CNBC as a profit driver [for General Electric’s NBC Universal]."
In the interest of full disclosure, we note he owns Microsoft, Apple Computer and Google. But he divides the trio into two camps: “If things go wrong, those companies [Apple and Google] can really crash. But that’s not the case with Microsoft.”
And on a dark note, Willard declares, “The Dell brand is ruined.”