Picks from Goldman's Hedge Fund Monitor

Apple (AAPL), Google (GOOG), and AIG are the most popular (long) holdings of hedge funds, according to Goldman's latest hedge fund monitor, which analyzed the positions of 783 hedge funds with $1.7T of gross assets. Hedge fund holdings of AIG, however, account for 14 of the company's float compared to negligible amounts for Apple and Google.

The 20 most concentrated hedge fund holdings as defined by the percent of equity cap owned by the funds has consistently been a significant outperformer, according to Goldman. In order: AN, STZ, JCP, FDO, THC, HRB, BEAM, MU, NWSA, VRSN, CBG, NFLX, GT, TSO, ETFC, MSI, WPX, WYN, HES, CCI. The top 20 last quarter is here.

Overall, the studied hedge funds' performance leaves a bit to be desired, with average return of 6% YTD. Fewer than 5% outperformed the S&P 500, and 20% of funds posted an absolute loss.

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Comments (15)
  • aardvark3
    , contributor
    Comments (669) | Send Message
    Are we surprised that AAPL heads the list? That's where the real long money is.
    25 Nov 2013, 04:06 PM Reply Like
  • Chris Lau
    , contributor
    Comments (3989) | Send Message
    There are too many (AAPL) longs on SA to post a bearish note about them, but I don't get a good feel from this company any more. I hear lots of complaints from capable tech users on iOS7. Only ipad mini/air are very strong, but Android is really doing so well that copying HFs (http://bit.ly/pFSoX2) right now should not be accepted without asking a few questions.


    Mighty Seth Klarman sold (http://bit.ly/pllDEJ) but still holds the warrants.
    25 Nov 2013, 04:13 PM Reply Like
  • Stock Market Mike
    , contributor
    Comments (3598) | Send Message
    Problems are brewing around Apple products. The number of complaints that I hear of is rising. Apple is taking long amounts of time to fix their issues. (Like the outstanding 'unable to download apps' issue - don't worry, payment was processed, and your app will show up on your phone within 2-4 days.) Most people that I've spoken to do not like the new look & interface of iOS 7, and at least half the people I know with iDevices are now wary of iOS updates and all the issues they introduce.


    You can only have such issues for so long before people start looking for other products, and word of mouth spreads. You can buy a Samsung or Google Android device without any such problems, and it's starting to show in market share...


    Android has a slightly weaker apps market, but Apple's recent issues go straight to the core of what gave Apple a lead with developers and consumers - the apps, and the amount of people buying apps. If you mess that up, look out below.
    25 Nov 2013, 04:55 PM Reply Like
  • Mercury Value
    , contributor
    Comments (568) | Send Message
    Hi Mike. You say:


    "The number of complaints that I hear of is rising."


    Do you care to say who is stating them, and why? Which metric do you use for the "number of complaints"?


    There may be occasional problems with downloadability in iOS, but there are also in Android, and as the iOS wiki page says (with a link to paid research): "A Q3 2013 study found that mobile developers use iOS as a primary platform more than Android (59% vs. 49%), despite Android being a more popular platform overall." Assuming most developers clearly prefer iOS, why would there be more download problems than with Android? I'd prefer any statistical input you may be able to provide.


    I trust that "most people that you've spoken to" are earnest in their opinions.


    Considering the above, though, which "issues" does Apple have? Your comment seems to bear much certainty, but little substance.
    25 Nov 2013, 09:25 PM Reply Like
  • Stock Market Mike
    , contributor
    Comments (3598) | Send Message
    "Do you care to say who is stating them, and why? Which metric do you use for the "number of complaints"?"


    People near me. Friends, family, business associates, online contacts, etc.; my pool is limited to a couple hundred people, but over the last few months there has been a negative shift in the tone of anyone talking about their iDevice. Some have gotten rid of them and moved to Android. ~Five people that I know personally have this bug, and have been unable to fix it:




    One person cured it by doing a full reset and *not* restoring anything to his iPhone. Setting up everything from scratch all over again was likely tedious. Unfortunately for him, it happened again after one of the iOS 7.0.x updates, frustrating him enough to buy an Android device.


    Word of mouth spreads over time. If issues like this persist for too long, those unhappy users will be telling other Apple users, and eventually that will reverse the iDevice trend in North America. That would be bad, since this is their stronghold, and we generally think nothing of buying cheap apps. If Apple loses or reduces that market, it weakens their core strength. (Apps, developers, app sales)


    26 Nov 2013, 01:29 PM Reply Like
  • bfmil
    , contributor
    Comments (211) | Send Message
    Yeah, stack that up against the number of complaints regarding anything Microsoft has produced in the last decade or longer and see who comes out ahead in that score. It's like comparing the national debt to the singles I have in my wallet. What a inane argument, problems are brewing. Any time I'm looking for a good laugh I just search for an Apple eating bear.
    26 Nov 2013, 06:11 PM Reply Like
  • Stock Market Mike
    , contributor
    Comments (3598) | Send Message
    I'm not a bear - I'm a trader, and I love technology. I keep watch for sentiment changes, as they can indicate a shift in the direction of a stock. Sentiment changes steered me right with AMD, NOK, OCZ, etc.; unfortunately it's more of an art than a science, figuring out when a sentiment shift will affect a stock, and by how much.


    If the average consumer is as fervent as the AAPL bulls on this board, they have nothing to worry about. Just be careful that if sentiment does shift, you don't buy aggressively on the way down. (like TSLA or BBRY bulls recently did...)
    27 Nov 2013, 01:27 PM Reply Like
  • Mullchess
    , contributor
    Comments (20) | Send Message
    Your reply is anecdotal information, considering the size of the market, and should not be used for investment decisions. I'm not hearing complaints from my friends and associates and I'm very happy with IOS 7. Yes, not all the bugs are out but that's what updates are for.
    30 Nov 2013, 05:56 AM Reply Like
  • Stock Market Mike
    , contributor
    Comments (3598) | Send Message
    Good. If enough people comment with their own personal experiences, we'll have a reasonably good picture of how things really are.
    30 Nov 2013, 11:41 AM Reply Like
  • Nate Sterling
    , contributor
    Comments (615) | Send Message
    Hedge funds = dead money
    25 Nov 2013, 04:15 PM Reply Like
  • Voice of common sense
    , contributor
    Comments (138) | Send Message
    The lemming hedge funds who have produced abysmal returns this year are piling into the equity markets and driving stocks higher into year-end. I guess the muppets who invest in them haven't a clue.
    25 Nov 2013, 04:21 PM Reply Like
  • Kamil Kolacek
    , contributor
    Comments (1109) | Send Message
    Nah, AAPL & especially AIG, are legit long-term investments. Despite what popular opinion might believe, there are some very savvy smart-money hedge funds out there and they know what they are doing.
    25 Nov 2013, 05:03 PM Reply Like
  • rungrandpa
    , contributor
    Comments (289) | Send Message
    I think hedge fund guys are swinging for the fences, which leads to inconsistent performances.
    25 Nov 2013, 09:58 PM Reply Like
  • Momintn
    , contributor
    Comments (6056) | Send Message
    I think it is late to buy stocks after all the hedge funds piled in last quarter. They will be selling to you.
    26 Nov 2013, 11:19 AM Reply Like
  • Momintn
    , contributor
    Comments (6056) | Send Message
    I don't think their losses are from their stock picks as much as it is from their shorts. When you are in a bull market it is difficult to make money shorting stocks.
    26 Nov 2013, 11:25 AM Reply Like
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