Founders Fund Partner Sees Red Flags but not in the Nasdaq


Investors concerned about whether tech is in a bubble now that the Nasdaq has reached 2000 levels need to factor in the impact of inflation, Scott Nolan, the Founders Fund partner, said on recently.

On Friday, the Nasdaq closed at an all-time-high of 5,092, surpassing the previous record set just before the tech bubble burst in 2000.

“We’ve had about 40 percent inflation since 2000, so when people are comparing Nasdaq to that, it would have to be 40 percent higher just to keep up with inflation,” Nolan told CNBC’s “Squawk Alley.”

Consumer price inflation has increased about 36 percent since 2000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

He continued to say that the price-to-earnings ratio across the Nasdaq is under 25, six times less than the index’s PE ratio of more than 150 in 2000.

That said, investing comes down to a company-by-company decision, and Founders Fund is focusing on startups in aerospace, energy and biotech, Nolan said. With a growing number of tech companies fetching $1 billion valuations, the firm believes the highest returns can be found where investors are allocating too little capital: hard science.

Started by Peter Thiel and Ken Howery in 2005, Founders Fund has raised $2.1 billion, according to venture capital database Crunchbase. Its portfolio of investments has included Elon Musk’s space exploration technology firm SpaceX, Facebook, and music-streaming service Spotify.

Nolan said Founders Fund avoids companies that do not invest in areas with high return on investment fail to see the strategic value in owning a market and create huge fixed costs.


Reprinted by permission.

Image credit: CC by bfishadow

About the author: Tom DiChristopher

Tom DiChristopher is a news associate for CNBC.

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