Every quarter, many money managers have to disclose what they've bought and sold, via 13F filings. Their latest moves can shine a bright light on smart stock picks.
Today let's look at one of the biggest hedge fund companies, Eton Park, founded by Eric Mindich in 2004. Mindich had spent 15 years at Goldman Sachs before that, becoming, at age 27, its youngest partner. Mindich invests in both long and short positions on stocks and in private equity investments, and specializes in merger arbitrage. He reportedly nearly tripled the value of Eton Park in its first seven years, but has posted some bumpy results lately, resulting in some shareholders pulling out.
The company's reportable stock portfolio totaled $7.9 billion in value as of March 31, 2012.
So what does Eton Park's latest quarterly 13F filing tell us? Here are a few interesting details:
New holdings include Cobalt International Energy
Among holdings in which Eton Park increased its stake were E-Commerce Dangdang
YPF Sociedad Anonima, meanwhile, down a whopping 75% over the past year, is an interesting case, as the Argentine government has nationalized the company. Formerly controlled by Spain's Repsol, YPF is a good example of how it can be risky and more complicated for us Americans to invest in some foreign companies.
Eton Park reduced its stake in lots of companies, including Dollar Tree
Finally, Eton Park unloaded several companies, such as Bank of America
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, and 13-F forms can be great places to find intriguing candidates for our portfolios.
If you're in the market for some compelling banking stocks but don't like Bank of America, check out our special free report, "The Stocks Only the Smartest Investors Are Buying" -- it will introduce you to some promising financial enterprises.
Longtime Fool contributor Selena Maranjian, whom you can follow on Twitter, holds no position in any company mentioned. Click here to see her holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Bank of America Corporation. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.