Canada Markets close in 4 hrs 21 mins

Billionaire Ron Baron sees the Dow reaching 500,000 in 50 years

Berkeley Lovelace Jr.

Buy-and-hold billionaire Ron Baron predicted on Friday that the Dow Jones Industrial Average will reach 500,000 in the next 50 years.

Speaking from his annual investment conference in New York City, Baron told CNBC that the stock market reflects the economy. Therefore, he argued, if gross domestic product doubles every 10 years so will the market.

Extrapolating that out, Baron said in a "Squawk Box" interview: "The Dow Jones in 50 years will be 500,000."

Investors can expect on average to make 7 or 8 percent per year in the market, said the founder of Baron Capital. "The stock market is the best vehicle for most people to invest in."

Baron's prediction for Dow 500,000 pretty much lines ups with billionaire investor Warren Buffett 's thinking. Last year, Buffett said he sees the Dow reaching 1,000,000 in 100 years.

The Dow closed on Wednesday at 26,191.

Baron, an ardent critic of buying and selling stocks based on headlines, told CNBC Friday his firm makes billions of dollars by doing extensive research, and then making long-term investments in what he feels are undervalued companies.

Also like Buffett, Baron said index funds are one of the best places for individual investors to put their money.