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.
George Soros is known to some folks these days for his politics and philanthropy, but his fame stems from his wealth, which is a result of his outstanding investing prowess. He founded Soros Fund Management back in 1973, and under its umbrella, the Quantum funds racked up an amazing record, reportedly averaging close to 20% annual growth over four decades.
As The New York Times has explained, "His huge gains have come from macro bets, which aim to profit from global economic trends by trading currencies, commodities, bonds and other securities. Mr. Soros made his name, however, betting on currencies."
Soros' reportable stock portfolio totaled $6.9 billion in value as of June 30, 2012.
So what does Soros' latest quarterly 13F filing tell us? Here are a few interesting details:
New holdings include Facebook
Amarin, a late-stage cardiovascular-focused biotech company, saw its shares pop nearly 20% recently, on promising developments for its newly approved drug, Vascepa, and the possibility of a partnership with a big pharmaceutical company or an outright acquisition. There could be more good news if the drug is approved for other treatments.
Among holdings in which Soros increased its stake was Westport Innovations
Soros reduced its stake in lots of companies, including VIVUS
Finally, Soros unloaded plenty of companies entirely, such as biotech company Dynavax Technologies
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, holds no position in any company mentioned. Click here to see her holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Westport Innovations and Facebook. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Westport Innovations and Facebook. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.