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When Gurus Clash: Using Guru Trading Data

October 14, 2013 | About:
I love peeking over the shoulder of successful investors. It’s not so much a matter of seeing what they are buying and selling as much as it’s seeing what they are thinking. You’re always at an information disadvantage when you watch the trades of hedge fund guru; you’ll never know exactly why they placed the trades they did or what their expected returns or time horizon are. But you can get a pretty good idea of what their overriding investment themes are.

You can follow these trades by reading the publically-available 13F filings they are required to report to the SEC. Or, you can use one of many services that compile and crunch this data for you.

Today, I want to draw your attention to a “guru heat map” produced by Guru Focus: See Guru Buys andGuru Sells. These heat maps aggregate all insider buying and selling of S&P 500 stocks and rank them accordingly.

A few things jump right off the page. Microsoft (MSFT) has become a battleground stock among gurus; it is the most aggressively sold by gurus, but is also in the top 20 of top buys. Apple (AAPL), Google(GOOG), Qualcomm (QCOM), Cisco Systems (CSCO), Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-B), Wells Fargo(WFC) and CitiGroup (C) also feature prominently in both lists. It’s hard to draw conclusions when rock star investors are simultaneously buying and dumping the shares.

Not all stocks had ambiguous guru activity, howver. Oracle (ORCL) was the most heavily bought stock by gurus, with 16 individual gurus identified by Guru focus, and it was not in the top 50 of those sold.

A less common name being accumulated by gurus is Cabot Oil and Gas (COG), which had 7 recent guru buyers and no major selling.

While I don’t recommend you run out and buy or sell a stock based on its guru buying patterns, I recommend you periodically visit the guru heat maps. Tools like this can be a useful starting point in your investment process. When entering a trade, it’s nice to know whose in it with you…or who might be taking the other side.

About the author:

Charles Sizemore
Charles Lewis Sizemore, CFA is the Chief Investment Officer of Sizemore Capital Management. Please contact our offices today for a portfolio consultation.

Mr. Sizemore has been a repeat guest on Fox Business News, has been quoted in Barron’s Magazine and the Wall Street Journal, and has been published in many respected financial websites, including MarketWatch,, InvestorPlace, MSN Money, Seeking Alpha, Stocks, Futures, and Options Magazine and The Daily Reckoning.

Visit Charles Sizemore's Website

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