Spying On the Top Mutual Fund Stock Picks

Great ideas for investment opportunities can often be found when reviewing the investment decisions of great investors.  When Barron’s reported on 19 mutal funds that have beaten famed mutual fund manager Bill Miller over the past 15 years, I decided to take a closer look at the holdings of these top fund managers.  Below I list out the 20 funds with links to their detailed mutual fund information offerings and the list of their top 25 holdings as reported by Morningstar:

  1. FPA Capital Fund managed by Robert L. Rodriguez – Top holdings
  2. Fidelity Low-Priced Stock managed by Joel Tillinghast – Top holdings
  3. Calamos Growth A managed by John and Nick Calamos – Top holdings
  4. Heartland Value managed by William Nasgovitz – Top holdings
  5. Columbia Acorn Z managed by Charles McQuaid and Robert Mohn – Top holdings
  6. ICM Small Company managed by Robert McDorman – Top holdings
  7. Hartford Capital Appreciation HLS managed by Saul Pannell – Top holdings
  8. DFA U.S. Micro Cap team managed – Top holdings
  9. Merrill Lynch Value Opportunities managed by R. Elise Baum – Top holdings
  10. Muhlenkamp managed by Ron H. Muhlenkamp – Top holdings
  11. Federated Kaufmann K managed by Lawrence Auriana and Hans Utsch – Top holdings
  12. Hotchkis and Wiley Small Cap Value I managed by Jim Miles – Top holdings
  13. Janus Small Cap Value Instl. managed by Tom and Tod Perkins – Top holdings
  14. Neuberger Genesis managed by D’Alelio and Vale – Top holdings
  15. Laudus Rosenberg U.S. Small Cap Instl. managed by William Rick – Top holdings
  16. Wasatch Core Growth managed by J.B. Taylor – Top holdings
  17. Mairs and Power Growth managed by William B Freis – Top holdings
  18. Third Avenue Value managed by Martin J. Whitman – Top holdings
  19. Skyline Sepecial Equities managed by William Fiedler – Top holdings
  20. Legg Mason Value Trust managed by Bill Miller – Top holdings

In addition to beating Bill Miller’s performance over the past 15 years, I discovered that FPA Capital, Fidelity Low-Priced Stock, Calamos Growth A, Columbia Acorn Z, Muhlenkamp, Hotchkis and Wiley Small Cap Value I, Janus Small Cap Value, Neuberger Genesis, and Wasatch Core Growth also outperformed Miller’s Legg Mason Value Trust in the past five and ten year periods.  Looking at the ten and five year performance records in addition to the fifteen year performance period helps eliminate funds that outperformed Bill Miller due to just short periods of high performance.

I also quickly examined the investment philosophy of these funds. Calamos Growth, Federated Kaufmann, Hartford Capital Appreciation, and Mairs and Power Growth are primarily large-cap growth funds. Columbia Acorn and Wasatch Core Growth are invested in mid- and small- cap growth stocks. DFA U.S. Micro and Laudus Rosenberg U.S. Small Cap are both quant funds focusing on small companies. Muhlenkamp and Legg Mason Value Trust are large-cap value funds. Third Avenue Value is a blended value fund, while Merrill Lynch Value Opportunities is a mid-cap value fund. Fidelity Low-Priced Stock, FPA Capital, Hearthland Value, ICM Small Company, Hotchkis and Wiley Small Cap Value I, Janus Small Cap Value, Neurberger Genesis, Laudus Rosenberg U.S. Small, and Skyline Special Equities invest in small-cap value stocks. Not surprisingly, most of the top funds are value oriented funds.

I took a look at what some of the top value funds have been doing.  FPA appears to be adding cash into Treasury Notes.  I noticed that William Nasgovitz of Heartland added to his position in Stewart and Stevenson Services (SVC).  Robert McDorman of ICM Small Company added to his position in Scottish Re Group (SCT). Muhlenkamp seems to be adding a strong concentration in financial stocks including Capital One Financial, Allstate, American International Group, and Citigroup. H & W added a new position, Mercury Interactive (MERQ).  However, it looks like they added this stock after its recent scandal which sent it to the pink sheets. Janus Small Cap Value upped their position in Kaydon (KDN). Bill Miller recently added Sprint Nextel (S) and Expedia (EXPE) to his portfolio.  I’ll be visiting this list later in the year to see what other new purchases these top fund managers make.

4 thoughts on “Spying On the Top Mutual Fund Stock Picks

  • January 23, 2006 at 8:26 pm

    I often times use this technique to imulate the best funds. I did not know until last week that hedge funds with greater than 100M had to register their holdings every three months with the SEC. I have used the sec.gov site to download specific hedge fund holdings. I look particularly at their largest holdings and the largest dollar purchases by comparing two quarters of information.

  • January 23, 2006 at 9:55 pm

    AlaBill, which hedge funds do you monitor? I know of a quicker and easier way to track institutional investors.

    Everyone: If you have any additional mutual funds or institutions that you recommend monitoring because of their excellent track record, please let me know about them. I’ll put together a list of institutional investors that value investors should monitor for a future post.

  • July 4, 2007 at 8:17 pm

    Here is a site that might fit into what you are looking for called Fundmojo: http://www.fundmojo.com. It allows me to see the trends of top holdings in a fund and provides dynamic report on top stock holdings across sectors and my favorable funds which is prett cool…

  • July 4, 2007 at 11:51 pm

    Johnny, thanks for letting me know about Fundmojo. The site looks fairly new. I hope they expand the info they provide on holdings to also include information beyond the top ten holdings. I’d be most interested in tracking new holdings.

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