By Scott Rubin
In my opinion, George Soros is one of the best traders of all time, along with Stevie Cohen of SAC Capital. Paul Tudor Jones likely falls somewhere not too far behind those two legends. The best investor list would be headed up by Warren Buffett - no big surprise there.
Why is any of this relevant? Because if you accept the premise that Soros is one of the best ever, it may pique your interest to know that he slashed 42% of his long equity exposure in the second quarter - while maintaining a giant position in the SPDR Gold Trust ETF (NYSEARCA:GLD).
Between the end of March and the end of June, Soros lowered his stock investments from $8.8 billion to $5.1 billion in his hedge fund, Soros Fund Management. The investment vehicle manages approximately $25 billion.
His GLD position, although trimmed modestly, now accounts for a whopping 13% of his equity portfolio at $638 million. Positions in blue-chips such as Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), J.P. Morgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) and Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) were cut by 99%, 97% and 95% respectively.
Anyone who thinks that Soros is not first and foremost a trader, should take a look at the valuations and chart patterns of the aforementioned stocks. It looks like George just went right out and bought the most bullish looking charts he could find. I doubt that Warren Buffett would be caught holding any of those positions, but they suit Soros just fine - and he has probably already made a boatload on them.
The key takeaway, however, from Soros' disclosure is that he is definitely not bullish on U.S. stocks and you certainly do not want to be on the other side of his trades. If "one of the best ever" is selling, shouldn't you consider lightening up as well?
Disclosure: No positions