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A How-To Guide For 13F Season

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A How-To Guide For 13F Season

The most notable investors in the world are legally required to disclose their funds' most recent holdings. If you're an investor or trader who likes to follow the "smart money" -- sometimes referred to as "whale watching" -- the SEC's requirement for the public disclosure of a fund's long positions is certainly a blessing.

Here are some tips on how to interpret the information that comes from the 13F season and how you might be able to use it in your strategy.

Timing Is Everything

The SEC requires funds to report their holdings as of the end of the last quarter no more than 45 days after the end of that quarter. That date usually falls during the second week of the month. The 2016 deadlines look something like this:

  • February 14
  • May 15
  • August 15
  • October 15

I Know It's 13F Season... Now What?

Upon realizing a given week is the week 13F filings need to be sent to the SEC, expect a boat load of SEC filings after the close on Thursday, Friday, and over that weekend. Tune your Benzinga Pro feeds to SEC and if you're hunting for a specific fund, use the platform's keyword search to filter by only the fund you want filings from.

A good idea is to have the names of some of the top funds standing by so the list can be consulted when all those filings start hitting the wire. Here's a good list to start:

  • Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway
  • Carl Icahn via Carl C. Icahn
  • David Tepper's Appaloosa
  • David Einhorn's Greenlight Capital
  • Bill Ackman's Pershing Square Capital
  • Dan Loeb's Third Point
  • Jim Chanos' Kynikos
  • George Soros' Soros Fund Management
  • Leon Cooperman's Omega Advisors
  • John Paulson's Paulson & Co.
  • Seth Klarman's Baupost Group
  • Stephen Mandel's Lone Pine

Tracking Changes

For when the 13F's start hitting the newswires, here is a quick guide to how to spot the notable changes:

  1. Go to the SEC's EDGAR site at https://www.sec.gov/edgar/searchedgar/companysearch.html
  2. Search the fund of the filing you want to locate -- be as precise as possible.
  3. Find the appropriate 13F filing which will be labeled as "13F-HR" in the furthest left column with heading "Filings."
  4. Click the "Documents" bubble.
  5. Open the document, which has extension name with the word "table" in it.
  6. Go back to the page that lists all of the fund's filings and find the 13F filing you want to compare with the most recent filing. This will likely be the previous quarter filing.
  7. Open the comparable filing in a new window and go across the table, comparing which positions are new, raised, lowered and/or liquidated.
 

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Posted-In: 13F 13F season Jim ChanosShort Sellers Education Hedge Funds Trading Ideas General Best of Benzinga

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