Global investor Mark Mobius on Wednesday called cryptocurrencies a religion, joining a chorus of digital coin skeptics at a time when bitcoin and ether are trading near all-time highs.
“It’s a not an investment, it’s a religion,” the founder of Mobius Capital Partners said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”
“People should not look at these cryptocurrencies as a means to invest. It’s a means to speculate and have fun. But then you got to go back to stocks at the end of the day,” he added.
Mobius isn’t alone in slamming crypto. JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon has also vocally criticized the likes of bitcoin, mostly recent calling it “worthless” and “fool’s gold.”
Billionaire investor Paul Tudor Jones, on the other hand, believes crypto has its place, and told CNBC last month that he believes cryptocurrencies are a better bet against inflation than even gold.
Mobius, a world markets guru who had a long career at Franklin Templeton before striking out on his own, believes stocks are the best bet because of currency and inflation factors.
“Stocks definitely are the answer because the devaluation of currency is not going to go away, which means inflation is going to continue at a high rate going forward,” he said. “Don’t forget the U.S. money supply has gone up over 30%.”
With so much liquidity floating around due to easy Covid-era central bank monetary policies, Mobius told CNBC in September that a lot of that money will end up going back into stocks.
In Wednesday’s “Squawk Box” interview, Mobius said he’s largely invested in Taiwan. “Our biggest holdings now, we’ve got 20% of our fund in Taiwan, 20% in India and only about 5 or 6% in China.”
The global investor said he’s currently looking for the best opportunities for both software and hardware in India and Taiwan, indicating optimism around tech.
Mobius also said he’s paying attention to the U.S. market as well, suggesting it has huge potential even as stocks were trading near record highs. “We believe the U.S. market is going to continue to prosper and continue to do well,” he said. Many U.S. companies are also making money in emerging markets, he added.
The main problem for the U.S. market is the potential for higher interest rates, Mobius said, as investors hope to get a signal on possible rate hikes when the Federal Reserve wraps up its two-day November meeting Wednesday afternoon. However, central bankers are widely expected to announce they’re reducing the amount of bonds they buy each month.
“Of course the big worry is interest rates, if the [global central] banks decide to raise interest rates after they’ve done their bond buying, then that could be a big worry not only in the U.S. but emerging markets generally,” Mobius said.