ETFs For 13F Filing Season: Part II
It's safe to assume most investors would like to invest along side the smart money. A difficult task to be sure, but the 13F filing courtesy of the Securities and Exchange Commission can certainly help.
For those not in the know, here's a quick explanation of what 13F's are straight from the source, the source being the SEC: An institutional investment manager that uses the U.S. mail (or other means or instrumentality of interstate commerce) in the course of its business, and exercises investment discretion over $100 million or more in Section 13(f) securities (explained below) must report its holdings on Form 13F with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
In late 2011, we looked at some ETFs that were prized by hedge funds, endowments and other big money managers. So with this list we're looking for some fresh additions while limiting the number of funds that make a second appearance.
SPDR Gold Shares (NYSE: GLD) We might as well get one of the duplicates out of the way early. GLD, the largest physically-backed commodities fund and second-largest ETF overall in the world, is a favorite of the smart money crowd. Paulson & Co. cut its GLD stake in the fourth quarter for the second straight quarter, but George Soros, who has previously warned of a gold bubble, added to his GLD position.
Vinik Asset Management LP, Tudor Investment Corp. and SAC Capital Advisors LP also pared their GLD positions.
iShares FTSE China 25 Index Fund (NYSE: FXI) FXI is off to a fine start in 2012. That's music to the ears of the Yale endowment fund, which added shares of FXI in the fourth quarter. As FXI's chart indicates, regardless of when Yale was buying the ETF, the Ivy League school is now in the green on this trade.
That's good, but Yale could have done better. The Guggenheim China Small-Cap ETF (NYSE: HAO) is up more than FXI year-to-date and has a lower expense ratio. Yale's bitter rival Harvard has also held FXI in its endowment fund for some time.
iShares iBoxx $ Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF (NYSE: LQD) One of Ken Fisher's largest positions at the end of the Q4, LQD offers a yield north of 4% and that's a lot better than Treasuries offer with barely more risk. Fun facts about LQD: At the end of January, it was the tenth-largest ETF in the U.S. by assets and the second-largest bond fund.
SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (NYSE: XHB) XHB and its rival the iShares Dow Jones US Home Construction ETF (NYSE: ITB) have been nothing short of amazing performers for several months now. SEC filings indicate Moore Capital Management LLP, Louis Moore Bacon's hedge fund, owned 3 million XHB shares at the end of 2011. Even if all of that stake was purchased in December, Moore Capital is deep in the money on XHB.
iShares MSCI Brazil Index Fund (NYSE: EWZ) The largest Brazil-specific fund was the Harvard endowment's largest position by market value at the end of the third-quarter and it will be interesting to see if the richest U.S. college sold or added into EWZ's strength in Q4. And it will be really interesting to see where EWZ stands with Harvard at the end of the current quarter.
But Harvard isn't the only institutional owner of EWZ. Not by a long shot. More than 30 advisors, banks, hedge funds and pension funds own stakes in EWZ, according to data from Tickerspy.
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