Going into the first quarter of the year, George Soros was heavily skewed toward consumer discretionary and information technology companies. This remains the case, with 63% of Soros Fund Management assets allocated in these two areas.
While some prominent investors prefer to carefully hold a small number of select investments, others prefer to rotate through different names and securities on a regular basis. The billionaire hedge fund manager has done the latter in the most recent quarter, according to his latest 13-F filing. Soros Fund rearranged its holdings considerably in the first months of the year, with a total of 107 positions exited between January and March. At the same time, Soros added to 45 stakes, trimmed down another 25, and entered into 159 new positions, according to reporting by Barron's. What does this mean for Soros' portfolio, and what are the repercussions for the broader investment world?
Shifting Sector Emphasis
One of the major changes Soros made and which analysts have already begun to note has to do with his sector allocation. Nonetheless, the breakdown of investments between these two areas has shifted somewhat in favor of information tech stocks. Soros lowered his consumer discretionary exposure by 4.4% and increased his info tech holdings by 5.2%. As part of the shift, Soros trimmed his position in JDS Uniphase bonds and Netflix (NFLX), while at the same time adding to his holdings in chip developer Lam Research (LRCX). Notably, Soros bought a large stake in Snap (SNAP), the newly-public parent company of Snapchat.
Biggest Holdings Remain Mostly Steady
For all of the shifting that Soros did in the first few months of 2017, his most significant holdings remained fairly static. His top 10 positions, constituting a total of more than half of the Soros Fund portfolio, remained mostly intact, with just a few exceptions. Liberty Broadband (LBRDK), the top position in the portfolio, dropped by 4%. Among new names, one of the most important additions was FireEye (FEYE). Soros bought enough of this stock to catapult it into the top of his portfolio, where it now makes up about 5% of his total assets under management.
What does this mean for investors outside of Soros Fund? Though it's difficult to say, Soros and other prominent investors have already inspired a boost in trading price for Snap stock based on 13-F results. Whether a similar phenomenon could take place with other positions that Soros has recently emphasized seems possible. Like other prominent money managers, Soros commands a great deal of respect among the wider investment world, and a single investment decision made public through a 13-F report can prompt shifts in the market with much larger ripple effects.