Markets

Billionaire distressed asset investor Marc Lasry: Stock plunge is a 'massive buying opportunity'

Key Points
  • Investors who do not need returns right now should put money to work in the recent coronavirus-driven stock market slide, Marc Lasry said Monday.
  • The Avenue Capital co-founder told CNBC that he sees Wall Street's more than 20% drop from last month's record highs as a "massive buying opportunity."
  • "The market is definitely going to be higher at the end of the year" but probably lower in the near term, Lasry said.
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This is a massive buying opportunity: Marc Lasry

Marc Lasry, who made a fortune buying up troubled assets, told CNBC on Monday that investors who do not need returns right now should put money to work in the recent coronavirus-driven stock market slide.

Lasry calls Wall Street's more than 20% drop from last month's record highs a "massive buying opportunity." Stocks are firmly in a bear market, which is defined as a decline of at least 20% from recent 52-week highs.

Monday's trading at the open was halted for 15 minutes, the first of three levels of downside "circuit breakers," after the S&P 500 fell more than 8%. When it reopened, the S&P 500 dropped as much as 11.4%, before recovering some of that decline.

One day after announcing an emergency 1% interest rate cut to near zero and a massive monetary stimulus commitment, the Federal Reserve on Monday increased the liquidity it offers in short-term lending to the financial industry.

However, those Fed moves, in addition to another set of emergency actions earlier this month that also included a rate cut, have done little to get the markets back on track.

"The market is definitely going to be higher at the end of the year," Lasry said on "Fast Money Halftime Report." But he said he believes there's going to be more near-term downside.

"You're never going to be able to time this thing," he said. "If you know that you don't have to sell next week, then I would absolutely be a buyer. Should you start coming into today? Absolutely."

"Every time there's a down move you should be buying," Lasry added.

While he does not usually buy stocks directly, the billionaire Avenue Capital co-founder's risk-reward strategy of finding depressed assets that show promise can be applied by individual investors as well.

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