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What are Top Investment Managers Holding in Their Portfolios?

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The following is an complimentary excerpt from our Markets This Month dispatch from our premium newsletter called VC+. For more like this, get a VC+ annual membership for 25% off.

Analyzing the Funds of Five “Super Investors”

With the market usually taking a breather during the summer, it’s a great opportunity to analyze how top funds positioned their portfolios at the end of Q1 2023.

We selected five funds of various sizes, each one with a renowned investor at its helm that often has a unique outlook on the market and strategy towards building out their portfolio.

Selected super investor funds

The differences in portfolio compositions underline the variety of investment strategies, showing how some of the top investors approach portfolio construction.

Warren Buffett at Berkshire Hathaway, Investment Portfolio at end of Q1 2023

Berkshire Hathaway has one of the world’s best known and most successful portfolios, which has significantly outperformed the S&P 500 over the long term.

While the S&P 500 has returned 195% since 2013, Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger’s fund grew by 260% over the same time period.

Although Buffett is known for preaching diversification, almost half of Berkshire’s portfolio is all in the market’s most valuable company, Apple. The rest of the portfolio is fairly diversified with a mix of bank stocks, consumer staples like Coca-Cola and Kraft, along with oil and gas companies.

Jim Simons at Renaissance Technologies, Investment Portfolio at end of Q1 2023

Jim Simons’ hedge fund, Renaissance Technologies, is best known for its groundbreaking use of complex mathematical models and algorithms which pioneered the practice of quantitative investing.

As a result, the hedge fund’s portfolio holdings showcase astounding diversification, with the fund’s largest holding being a 2% allocation to pharmaceutical giant Novo Nordisk.

The portfolio is split across more than 3,900 different positions, showcasing the fund’s strategy of squeezing out returns from a diverse collection of investments through its algorithm-driven, statistical arbitrage approach.

Ray Dalio at Bridgewater Associates, Investment Portfolio at end of Q1 2023

Ray Dalio’s Bridgewater Associates was one of the few hedge funds to predict and successfully navigate the 2008 financial crisis, largely thanks to its “all weather” strategy which looks to perform well in all economic environments through diversification and a risk-parity approach to asset allocation.

As a result, you see many parallels and “counterweights” in the fund’s holdings. Its largest holding of MSCI’s Emerging Markets ETF is balanced out by the Core S&P 500 ETF.

Bridgewater is also one of the few funds which holds shares in a gold ETF. While other funds we’ve looked at have investments in gold royalty companies or miners, which likely have strong balance sheets and businesses to support the investment, Dalio’s fund has preferred to invest directly in the precious metal.

Stanley Druckenmiller at Duquesne Capital., Investment Portfolio at end of Q1 2023

Stanley Druckenmiller is best known as having been a key strategist for George Soros’s Quantum Fund, along with his own consistent record of returns with Duquesne which average 30% annually.

Known for his macroeconomic approach to investing, Druckenmiller isn’t afraid to make unique and concentrated bets when he has high conviction.

Currently his highest conviction bet and largest holding in his portfolio is Coupang Inc., which is South Korea’s largest online marketplace. Along with Coupang, Druckenmiller positioned his fund to take advantage of this year’s AI boom, with significant holdings in companies like NVIDIA, Microsoft, and Alphabet.

Michael Burry at Scion Asset Management, Investment Portfolio at end of Q1 2023

The smallest of all five funds we looked at, Michael Burry’s Scion Asset Management might be one of the best known for its role in predicting the 2008 financial crisis early on.

The protagonist of the film, The Big Short, Michael Burry is best known for his aggressive short bets and overall value investing approach especially in distressed assets.

Scion Asset Management’s portfolio reflects this as a good portion of its holdings at the end of Q1 this year were in various bank stocks which had declined significantly throughout the month of March.

Burry’s biggest bets however are in Chinese ecommerce companies JD.com and Alibaba, indicating Burry’s belief in a consumer driven economic reopening for China this year.

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Economy

Economic Growth Forecasts for G7 and BRICS Countries in 2024

The IMF has released its economic growth forecasts for 2024. How do the G7 and BRICS countries compare?

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Faded horizontal bar chart visualization of G7 and BRICS countries' real GDP growth forecasts for 2024.

G7 & BRICS Real GDP Growth Forecasts for 2024

The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) has released its real gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecasts for 2024, and while global growth is projected to stay steady at 3.2%, various major nations are seeing declining forecasts.

This chart visualizes the 2024 real GDP growth forecasts using data from the IMF’s 2024 World Economic Outlook for G7 and BRICS member nations along with Saudi Arabia, which is still considering an invitation to join the bloc.

Get the Key Insights of the IMF’s World Economic Outlook

Want a visual breakdown of the insights from the IMF’s 2024 World Economic Outlook report?

This visual is part of a special dispatch of the key takeaways exclusively for VC+ members.

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Mixed Economic Growth Prospects for Major Nations in 2024

Economic growth projections by the IMF for major nations are mixed, with the majority of G7 and BRICS countries forecasted to have slower growth in 2024 compared to 2023.

Only three BRICS-invited or member countries, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and South Africa, have higher projected real GDP growth rates in 2024 than last year.

GroupCountryReal GDP Growth (2023)Real GDP Growth (2024P)
G7🇺🇸 U.S.2.5%2.7%
G7🇨🇦 Canada1.1%1.2%
G7🇯🇵 Japan1.9%0.9%
G7🇫🇷 France0.9%0.7%
G7🇮🇹 Italy0.9%0.7%
G7🇬🇧 UK0.1%0.5%
G7🇩🇪 Germany-0.3%0.2%
BRICS🇮🇳 India7.8%6.8%
BRICS🇨🇳 China5.2%4.6%
BRICS🇦🇪 UAE3.4%3.5%
BRICS🇮🇷 Iran4.7%3.3%
BRICS🇷🇺 Russia3.6%3.2%
BRICS🇪🇬 Egypt3.8%3.0%
BRICS-invited🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia-0.8%2.6%
BRICS🇧🇷 Brazil2.9%2.2%
BRICS🇿🇦 South Africa0.6%0.9%
BRICS🇪🇹 Ethiopia7.2%6.2%
🌍 World3.2%3.2%

China and India are forecasted to maintain relatively high growth rates in 2024 at 4.6% and 6.8% respectively, but compared to the previous year, China is growing 0.6 percentage points slower while India is an entire percentage point slower.

On the other hand, four G7 nations are set to grow faster than last year, which includes Germany making its comeback from its negative real GDP growth of -0.3% in 2023.

Faster Growth for BRICS than G7 Nations

Despite mostly lower growth forecasts in 2024 compared to 2023, BRICS nations still have a significantly higher average growth forecast at 3.6% compared to the G7 average of 1%.

While the G7 countries’ combined GDP is around $15 trillion greater than the BRICS nations, with continued higher growth rates and the potential to add more members, BRICS looks likely to overtake the G7 in economic size within two decades.

BRICS Expansion Stutters Before October 2024 Summit

BRICS’ recent expansion has stuttered slightly, as Argentina’s newly-elected president Javier Milei declined its invitation and Saudi Arabia clarified that the country is still considering its invitation and has not joined BRICS yet.

Even with these initial growing pains, South Africa’s Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor told reporters in February that 34 different countries have submitted applications to join the growing BRICS bloc.

Any changes to the group are likely to be announced leading up to or at the 2024 BRICS summit which takes place October 22-24 in Kazan, Russia.

Get the Full Analysis of the IMF’s Outlook on VC+

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