Imagine getting the chance to look over the shoulder of the world's greatest investors as they go about their work, to get a glimpse of what Warren Buffett, George Soros or David Einhorn just bought or sold.
You may be surprised to learn that there's a little-known "cheat sheet" that can tell you this information, legally, with the click of a button.
Once you know where to look, you can find out what stocks Buffett or any of your favorite investing gurus are buying and selling.
These "cheat sheets" are called Form 13F filings.
Institutional investment managers with more than $100 million in qualifying assets are required by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to file these forms quarterly. They list investment holdings.
Here's what we can learn&
By looking at certain 13F filings, you would have known that in the third quarter of 2012, Buffett's investment firm Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-B) bought Deere (NYSE: DE), Precision Castparts (NYSE: PCP), WABCO Holdings (NYSE: WBC) and Media General (NYSE: MEG).
And why should we pay attention to what Buffett's buying?
Well, to measure how much investors could have gained by mimicking Buffett in the last year, I tried an experiment.
I wrote down the purchases from Buffett's 13F filing from Dec. 31, 2011.
At the time, he opened new positions in two securities: DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc. (NYSE: DVA) and Liberty Media Corp. (Nasdaq: LMCA).
Then I looked at the performance of both stocks.
Since then, DVA is up 46%. LMCA is up 47%.
My conclusion: There's a very good reason why Buffett is one of the richest men in the world.
And if you happen to prefer the investing style of David Einhorn, George Soros -- or almost any other famous investor -- here's the good news& their 13F Filings are just as easy to find.
Action to Take --> If you're interested in researching 13F filings on your own, then you can go to the SEC website here.
But for a much more user-friendly website, I recommend GuruFocus.com. (Neither I nor StreetAuthority receive any compensation for recommending this site.)
And if you don't have time to do the research on your own, no problem. We've got you covered.
The latest 13F filings were filed on Dec. 31, 2012. In the ensuing weeks, check back with StreetAuthority. I'll be publishing my latest research as soon as the data becomes available.
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