Every quarter, many money managers have to disclose what they've bought and sold. Their latest moves can shine a bright light on smart stock picks.
Today let's look at the Ruane, Cunniff, & Goldfarb company, founded by the late William Ruane, a student of value investing giant Benjamin Graham, along with Warren Buffett. Ruane founded the Sequoia (SEQUX) mutual fund in 1970, and its performance will show you why you might want to pay attention to the fund company's investments: Since inception and through the end of March 2012, the fund gained a cumulative 27,589%, vs. 6,510% for the S&P 500. Annualized, that's 14.4% vs. 10.6%. Over the past decade, which has been a challenging one for the stock market, Sequoia averaged 6.6% annually, vs. 4.1% for the S&P 500.
Ruane, Cunniff, & Goldfarb's overall portfolio (which may contain holdings other than those of the flagship Sequoia fund) totaled $12.9 billion in value as of March 31, 2012. The company's top three holdings, representing about 35% of its total asset value, were Valeant Pharmaceuticals, TJX, and Berkshire Hathaway.
So what does Ruane, Cunniff, & Goldfarb's latest quarterly 13F filing tell us? Here are a few interesting details:
New holdings include 3M
Among holdings in which Ruane, Cunniff, & Goldfarb increased its stake was Bank of America
Ruane, Cunniff, & Goldfarb reduced its stake in lots of companies, including Applied Materials
Finally, Ruane, Cunniff, & Goldfarb unloaded several companies, such as Walgreen
Netflix's recent troubles are no secret, and have driven the stock down to levels that some find quite compelling, despite worries about competition threatening its future. A new worry is support from the FCC for usage-based broadband pricing, which would interfere with Netflix's all-you-can-eat streaming model.
We should never blindly copy any investor's moves, no matter how talented the investor. But it can be useful to keep an eye on what smart folks are doing. 13F forms can be great places to find intriguing candidates for our portfolios.
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Longtime Fool contributor Selena Maranjian, whom you can follow on Twitter, owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, 3M and Netflix, but she holds no other position in any company mentioned. Click here to see her holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Bank of America, Netflix, and Berkshire Hathaway. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of 3M, Berkshire Hathaway, Netflix, and Express Scripts, as well as creating a diagonal call position in 3M. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.