Surely, you’ve heard of The Big Short, the Oscar-nominated film that dives deep into the housing credit bubble of the 2000s. In the film, Christian Bale portrays Dr. Michael Burry. Michael Burry was the forward-thinking mind that predicted the 2008 housing crisis and bet against the banks. While it’s clear that Burry walked away with a boatload of money, just exactly how much money did he rake in? What’s Michael Burry’s net worth?
Let’s start from the beginning.
Burry’s hedge fund, Scion Capital LLC, was founded in 2000 and was originally funded by the combination of a small inheritance and some personal family loans. Scion finished its first year in business up 55 percent. At the time, Burry had no prior experience with the investment world other than running a finance-focused blog and making extremely accurate stock predictions on message boards.
Scion Capital continued to beat industry trends, and after only four short years in business, the hedge fund was managing $600 million. Its assets grew so quickly that Burry had to turn potential investors away.
Though the housing market crisis documented in The Big Short took place from 2007-2008, Burry started focusing on the subprime mortgage market as early as 2005. After extensive (and critically lauded) research, Burry was able to convince Goldman Sachs to sell him credit default swaps against vulnerable subprime deals. As evidenced by the resulting movie, this was a move that paid off big time.
From his initial payday documented in the film, Burry reportedly earned $100 million for himself and an estimated $725 million for his investors. Despite this major success, he did not benefit from the resulting bailouts in 2008 and 2009.
After securing these funds, he went on to form a new hedge fund, Scion Asset Management, which focused on water in place of real estate. Essentially, he’s aiming to grow foods in water-rich areas and transport that food to water-poor areas. He sees it as using food to provide water for those in need. Scion Asset Management currently manages $100 million and holds positions in five different financial services companies.
So that’s the long story of the real-life genius behind The Big Short, but the question still remains: what is Michael Burry’s net worth? The answer to this isn’t so straightforward. While publicly released financial reports detail the holdings of his companies, the industry has been mum about how much Burry is taking home, and how much he’s ultimately worth.