Charles Miller isn't promising his wife any expensive jewelry these days.
Mr. Miller, retired president of Transamerica Asset Management Group Inc., once promised his wife two diamonds of "significant" size if the Dow Jones industrial average hit 2000 within five years.
Mr. Miller said he delivered on his promise, made in 1983. When the Dow closed above 2000 in January 1987, he bought his wife, Beth, the diamonds. Without divulging the exact carat size, he said she "has a small hand."
He now expects the market to head the other way.
"I was a super bull at that time, unusually bullish compared to the Street," he said. But no longer.
"Today, I'm uncomfortable with the price of some of the favorite stocks. The S&P 500 and big stocks are substantially overpriced. Right now I like small- and midcap stocks and not being in the S&P 500. It is not a bad time to short those stocks."
Mr. Miller built the international investment management service under the name of The Criterion Group before selling it to Transamerica in 1989.
Mr. Miller, who retired as president and CEO at Transamerica Asset in 1992, now divides his time between Houston and his Santa Fe, N.M., home, which once was owned by artist Georgia O'Keeffe.
He is chairman of Meridian Advisors Ltd., a Houston-based general partnership that serves as investment manager for the Meridian Fund, a private investment partnership.
A major focus of his post-Criterion/Transamerica days is maintaining Sol y Sombra, the Santa Fe house where Georgia O'Keeffe spent the last years of her life. Mr. Miller bought the property from the O'Keeffe estate in 1987.
But he keeps an eye on the market, and makes no more promises of expensive jewelry with the market at these levels.