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The most 'interesting' investment in Bill Ackman's portfolio that 'no one's really noticed'

Julia La Roche
bill ackman

(REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz) William Ackman, founder and CEO of hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management

Activist investor Bill Ackman, the CEO of $18 billion Pershing Square Capital Management, said the most interesting investment in his portfolio right now are mortgage originators Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The 49-year-old activist investor was on a panel his friend and fellow activist investor Nelson Peltz, the CEO of Trian Fund Management at the CNBC/Institutional Investor Delivering Alpha Conference at the Pierre Hotel in New York.

"Mad Money" host Jim Cramer asked them for their single best idea.

Ackman said said it's Fannie and Freddie, but "no one has really noticed." By the way, he presented on Fannie and Freddie at the Sohn Conference in 2014. At that time, Ackman said he sees the stock price ranging from $23 to $47 in the future.

According to Ackman, this investment offers "the most upside and probably has the most downside."

Fannie and Freddie needed massive bailouts amid the financial crisis and were subsequently taken over by the government. As a shareholder, Ackman thinks the government will eventually agree that we need a less regulated Fannie and Freddie.

He did admit, though, that there's a "lot of risk" in the trade.

Peltz said he has two new positions that account for 1/3 of Trian's portfolio. He said he's not ready to announce them. He gave some hints, though. One is industrial and the other one hasn't been categorized yet. 

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