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Favorite values ​​of the great international gurus

Beating the stock indices is the great challenge that managers aspire to, but few achieve it.

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Favorite values ​​of the great international gurus

Beating the stock indices is the great challenge that managers aspire to, but few achieve it. Some big investors consider themselves gurus and have a legion of followers who study the movements in their portfolios when building theirs. One of the best known is Warren Buffett, whose conglomerate of companies, Berkshire Hathaway, has outperformed the American S index.

Many investors are following the trail of others such as George Soros, famous for his strong profits betting against the pound in 1992; Mark Mobius, emerging markets specialist; Carl Icahn, known for his takeover strategies; Terry Smith, the British Buffett; Michael Burry, who profited from the outbreak of the subprime crisis, and Cathie Wood, a technology specialist. Ray Dalio, founder of the Bridgewater Associates hedge fund, also sets trends, although a few months ago he ceded control of it. Another of those considered gurus is Bill Gross, co-founder of Pimco, a leading fixed-income investment manager, who later founded Janus Capital.

The so-called Oracle of Omaha says that "over time, it only takes a few winning companies to do wonders." In the last year his financial empire Berkshire Hathaway achieved a return of 4%, compared to the 18.1% drop in the American S index

Among the latest moves in his portfolio, in addition to buying a few more Apple shares, Buffett has picked up shares in media conglomerate Paramount and construction solutions provider Louisiana-Pacific.

Among its sales, the most prominent is that of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC), Berkshire has gotten rid of 86% of the shares it had.

Your aggressiveness in investing precedes you. It is not for nothing that he is known for knocking down the British pound in 1992 and making money on his bearish bets. His basic theory of investing is that markets are chaotic and he says that "it doesn't matter if you're right or wrong. What matters is how much money you make when you're right and how much you lose when you're wrong." Chairman of Soros Fund Management, among the main positions in his portfolio is the biotech Horizon Therapeutics, which was bought by Amgen in December for almost 28,000 million dollars. It is the largest holding in his portfolio, followed by electric car maker Rivian, in which he is selling shares.

Also, with rising interest rates, he is confident in corporate debt and has recently invested in an investment grade corporate bond ETF (iShares iBoxx IG).

The First Horizon financial services company is another of his bets. Within this sector, it trusts the consumer loan firm Capital One Financial, Discover Financial Services and SoFi Technologies, although it got rid of small investments in the banks JPMorgan Chase and Bank of New York Mellon.

By contrast, Soros has dissolved or cut positions in technology companies such as Zoom and Airbnb or Amazon, while almost doubling his commitment to Alphabet.

He is the most recognized emerging markets guru and has been very bullish on investing in India of late, despite allegations against Indian conglomerate Adani, which should have an isolated impact, he said in an interview on CNBC. The founder of Mobius Capital Partners says that he is looking for new investments in India. He explains that you have to focus on the long term and believes that there is value in digitization businesses, quality medical care, automation and renewable energy. His Mobius Emerging Markets Fund has had an annual return of 8% for the past three years. Among his main positions are the Japanese company EC Healthcare, the aesthetic technology company Classys and the technological EPAM Systems, Totvs, leader in management software for Latin America, and the Korean Leeno Industrial. Taiwan, Korea and China are his favorite regions.

"His fund's portfolio has normally changed little and in recent months, less. From the beginning, his commitment has been, above all, for high-quality companies in Asian countries, where he has more than 70% of his investments. focuses on high-growth sectors such as health, semiconductors, software or consumer discretionary", comments Gonzalo Alfaro, from Atrium Portfolio Managers. He highlights the profitability that his fund has obtained since its inception more than four years ago (27.8%), without investing in banks or oil companies. It only invests in good businesses with a lot of growth potential, developed by very healthy companies, with little debt, with very attractive valuations and in low-risk countries.

Emerging markets have historically low valuations, with discounts of more than 20% compared to the average of the last 20 years, and with very favorable growth prospects after the stabilization of the dollar, the reopening of China, the post-Covid recovery or the standardization in supply chains.

His fame as a ruthless investor precedes him and has come to inspire films like The Tireless Millionaire. Specialized in acquisition arbitrage strategies (he speculates on the shares of companies in trouble to gain control and then sell their assets in parts) he assures that "In life and in business, there are two deadly sins, the first is to act rashly without thinking, and the second is not acting at all. His investment firm Icahn Capital Management has its main holdings in energy such as CRV, First Energy and Occidental Petroleum. In the latter he has increased positions, as well as in Crown Holdings, an American manufacturer of metal cans.

The legendary investor has left Twitter, after being acquired by Elon Musk. He has also reduced his position at liquefied gas company Cheniere Energy and equipment leasing provider Herc Holdings.

He is known as the British Warren Buffett, although some managers see very significant differences, since this American investor is a great defender of the growth style (seeking businesses with the capacity to grow at high rates). The founder of Fundsmith is cautious with the market and has reduced his main positions, according to the latest movements in the SEC. Despite the sales, among its main positions Microsoft still stands out, which accounts for almost 9.9% of its portfolio and is its main investment since the second quarter of 2021. It also remains strong in the tobacco company Philip Morris, the cosmetics firm Estée Lauder, Idexx Laboratories, Stryker and ADP, which account for more than 6% of his portfolio each, although he has undone positions.

Smith has bet big on Idexx Corporation, an Illionis-based company that makes fire and optical systems and is already the fourth-biggest holding in his portfolio. He has also acquired some titles from giants like Apple, from Johnson

The founder of Ark Investment Management, a technology specialist, is considered by some to be a guru in the field, but in recent years she has been criticized for the poor performance of her investments. Its flagship Ark Innovation fund invests in giants like Tesla, the biggest stake (11%) in its portfolio, but also others like Zoom (7.9%), communication services company Roku (7.5%), the Exact Sciences and Coinbase, among others. She has recently bought shares of Advanced Micro Device (AMD), which rises in 2023 after falling 35% in 2022. She has also invested in the Roblox video game platform. But her total portfolio, which includes other products, dilutes Tesla's position to third, behind Exact Sciences and Zoom.

This year he has stood out for his optimistic comments on bitcoin, which he has catapulted to 500,000 dollars in ten years (it is trading around 22,500 dollars). Despite the turbulence of the cryptocurrency, the firm founded by Cathie Wood assures, in its Big Ideas 2023 report, that bitcoin "continues to represent one of the greatest innovations of our era despite the recent turbulence."

This former neurologist, with blindness in one eye and Asperger syndrome, rose to fame with the film The Big Short, based on the 2007 financial crisis for being among those who anticipated a crisis that most denied. Burry bases his investments on the concept of margin of safety (the difference between an asset's price and its intrinsic value). After retiring in 2008, in 2013 he opened Scion Asset Management, with which he places heavy bets on gold, small tech and farmland. He believes that water is the most valuable asset and that it will become scarce.

The main position is Geo Group, of security installations, although it has sold shares it still represents 25% of its portfolio. He took advantage of the last stretch of the year to enter five new companies: Black Knight, Coherent, Alibaba and He also sold his half of the Go Group stake and got out of Corecivic.

Following these references can give clues, but even the best investor can make mistakes. Charlie Munger, Buffett's partner and right-hand man, confessed a few days ago that his investment in Alibaba was a profound investment mistake. You have to be careful with copying some investments.

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