Every quarter, fund 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 Bridgewater Associates, representing the world's largest hedge fund -- and, in 2010 and 2011, the best-performing hedge fund, according to Forbes. Bridgewater was founded by Ray Dalio, who focuses on macroeconomic factors as he makes his investment decisions -- factors such as inflation, currency exchange rates, and GDP growth. He's clearly skilled, as the size of Bridgewater attests.
It can be hard to find sufficient promising places to park your money when you have so many billions to invest, but Bridgewater partly solves that problem with index funds, recently holding about 44% of its value in the S&P 500 SPDR ETF.
So what does Bridgewater's latest quarterly 13F filing tell us? Here are a few interesting details:
New holdings include Annaly Capital Management
Among holdings in which Bridgewater increased its stake was NVIDIA
Bridgewater reduced its stake in lots of companies, including Corning
Cliffs recently reported volume and iron ore pricing below expectations, along with slower steel production in China, but it still seems like an attractively priced stock, destined eventually to benefit from a global economic recovery. And while investors wait, it's been paying out about 1.7% in dividends and hiking that payout strongly.
Another noteworthy reduction in the Bridgewater portfolio was Microsoft. The company hasn't seemed like the leader it used to be in the technology world, but it's still doing plenty of things right.
Finally, Bridgewater unloaded several companies, such as Nuance Communications
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.
If you're intrigued by companies such as NVIDIA that are poised to make big bucks off new technologies, click into our special free report to see how you can profit from "The Next Trillion Dollar Revolution."Longtime Fool contributor Selena Maranjian, whom you can follow on Twitter here, owns shares of Corning, Microsoft, Apple, and Annaly Capital, 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 Apple, Annaly Capital, Corning, and Microsoft, and has sold shares of SPDR S&P 500 short. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Nuance Communications, Apple, Annaly Capital, Corning, NVIDIA, and Microsoft; creating bull call spread positions in Apple and Microsoft; writing puts on NVIDIA; and buying a put butterfly position on the SPDR S&P 500. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.