How Michael Burry Made His Mark in Investing

How Michael Burry Made His Mark in Investing

Michael Burry Deep Value

Michael Burry, a legendary investor and former hedge fund manager, made headlines for his exceptional foresight and strategic thinking during the 2008 financial crisis. While he gained widespread recognition through Michael Lewis’s book “The Big Short” and the subsequent movie adaptation, Burry’s success extends far beyond that one high-profile event. In this article, we will delve into the journey of how Michael Burry made his fortune, exploring the strategies and principles that paved the way for his remarkable success.

Early Beginnings

Michael Burry was born on June 19, 1971, in San Jose, California. He developed an early interest in finance and investing, which led him to pursue a degree in economics at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). After completing his undergraduate studies, he went on to earn a medical degree from the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

The Genesis of Scion Capital

In the late 1990s, Michael Burry started his investment journey by managing a small personal fund. In 2000, he founded Scion Capital, a private investment partnership. Burry’s approach to investing was rooted in deep value principles, where he sought out undervalued companies with significant potential for long-term growth.

The Subprime Mortgage Bet

One of the defining moments of Burry’s career came in the mid-2000s when he conducted an in-depth analysis of the subprime mortgage market. Recognizing the impending housing bubble, he concluded that many mortgage-backed securities were overvalued and bound to collapse. Contrary to prevailing sentiment, Burry bet against these securities through credit default swaps, anticipating the inevitable market crash.

The Big Short and 2008 Financial Crisis

The 2008 financial crisis was one of the most significant economic upheavals in modern history, leading to the collapse of financial institutions and a severe recession. Amidst this chaos, one man stood out for his extraordinary foresight and lucrative bets against the housing market. Michael Burry, a former hedge fund manager, became a household name thanks to his shrewd investment strategy that made him a fortune. In this article, we will delve into how Michael Burry made money by shorting the housing market and how his visionary approach distinguished him as a legendary investor.

The Subprime Mortgage Crisis Unveiled

In the early 2000s, the U.S. housing market experienced a speculative bubble fueled by the widespread issuance of subprime mortgages. These risky loans, extended to borrowers with poor credit histories, masked underlying weaknesses in the financial system. However, few recognized the impending disaster that would unfold as the housing market began to collapse.

Burry’s In-Depth Analysis

While others remained blissfully optimistic about the housing market’s future, Michael Burry conducted meticulous research and performed a thorough analysis of the subprime mortgage market. With a keen eye for value investing, Burry spotted the discrepancies and flaws in the mortgage-backed securities that were being sold as safe and reliable investments.

The “Big Short” Strategy

Armed with his research, Burry devised a strategy that became known as the “Big Short.” He made large bets against the subprime mortgage market through credit default swaps (CDS), essentially betting that these mortgage-backed securities would default. This contrarian approach, fueled by his deep value investing principles, was seen as risky and unconventional.

Weathering the Storm

As the housing market continued its steep decline, Burry’s investments proved to be highly profitable. His foresight and conviction paid off as the financial crisis unfolded, leading to substantial returns for his hedge fund and investors.

Legacy and Influence

Michael Burry’s success in shorting the housing market during the financial crisis earned him significant recognition and respect in the investment community. His remarkable story was later immortalized in Michael Lewis’s book “The Big Short,” and he was portrayed by Christian Bale in the subsequent movie adaptation.

How it ended

Michael Burry’s triumph in shorting the housing market was a result of his unwavering dedication to research, critical thinking, and the application of deep value investing principles. His bold bets against the prevailing market sentiment showcased the power of contrarian thinking and the potential for significant returns even during times of economic turmoil. Burry’s legacy as a visionary investor continues to inspire individuals and professionals in the financial world, underscoring the importance of thorough analysis and the courage to stand against the herd mentality. As history has shown, the impact of his “Big Short” strategy remains etched in the annals of finance, forever marking Michael Burry as a legendary figure in investing.

Post-Crisis Ventures

After the financial crisis, Michael Burry closed Scion Capital and focused on personal investments. He continued to apply his deep value investing approach, analyzing companies and industries with a keen eye for undervalued opportunities.

Burry’s Investments in Water and Agriculture

In the years that followed, Burry demonstrated his passion for investing in long-term trends that often went overlooked. He made significant investments in water rights and agricultural land, recognizing the potential challenges of water scarcity and the essential role of agriculture in a growing global population.


Michael Burry’s journey to fortune is a testament to his exceptional analytical skills, contrarian mindset, and unyielding dedication to research and due diligence. From his early personal fund to the massive success of Scion Capital and his astute bets during the 2008 financial crisis, Burry has shown that deep value investing can yield substantial rewards. Despite facing challenges and criticism along the way, he remained steadfast in his convictions, leaving a lasting legacy in the world of investing. Aspiring investors can draw inspiration from Burry’s story, embracing his principles to navigate the dynamic and unpredictable landscape of financial markets.

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