“The person that turns over the most rocks wins the game. And that’s always been my philosophy.” – Peter Lynch
Warren Buffett has often said in numerous occasions not to be ashamed of riding “coattails” or borrowing ideas and that he has done so in the past when working at Graham-Newman Corporation in his early 20s. These coattails of famous investment managers can easily be found in 13F filings during the end of each quarter. It is very interesting to see what they have been up to, although it is never a great idea to follow anyone blindly but instead take the idea and do your own research, conducting your own opinion.
A 13F is a quarterly report filed within 45 days of the end of calendar quarter (most waiting right to the exact day or last hours), by all investment managers with over 100M in (equity) assets under management. This is also required by all banks, insurance companies, pension funds, hedge funds and foundations in accordance with the SEC. Although this can be manipulated as only “long” positions have to be reported and investment vehicles are known to “fluff” the books for reporting, liquidating prior to reporting and then buying back the original positions afterwards. Another draw back is we do not have a chance to see securities that do not reach the threshold of $200,000 or 10,000 shares. Also the filing can be used in coordination with prior filings to asses changes in portfolio concentration or eliminated positions. Never the less it is something to be aware of and take into consideration when doing your research on 13F filings.
Some of my personal favourite 13F filings to look at are the following (files attached):
- Berkshire Hathaway
- Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
- Greenlight Capital, Inc. (David Einhorn)
- Soros Fund Management
- Baupost Group (Seth Klarman)
- Carl Icahn
I follow other funds, banks, and insurance companies in particular when I am either a shareholder or interested in becoming one, increasing my scope on their holdings. Of all the filings from the period ended March 31st, 2013 the holdings that sparked interest for further research were Liberty Global Inc, Liberty Media, Elan plc, Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, Aspen Insurance Holdings Limited, Extreme Networks, Inc and Idenix Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Now you have gathered insight into where some rocks can be found, using the “smart money” as a paddle to navigate the rough waters of the stock market.