Stockpickr: You Can Trade Like Bill Gates
Another interesting stock in Gates' portfolio is Fisher Communications (FSCI), which owns a number of television and radio stations. Of the 12,000 portfolios entered into Stockpickr, none of the nonprofessionals have selected this stock and only two professionals have: Gates and Barington Capital.
I visited the folks at Barington a little over a year ago, and their comment to me then -- and I don't know if this has changed since -- is that they haven't had a down investment since 2001.
They are activists, and invest in situations that they feel are deeply undervalued. They are also long-term holders and have been up every year since inception. That includes 2002, when the market was down 22% and Barington was up 12.75%. In 2006, Barington was up 19.11%. Here are some of Barington's top holdings on its Stockpickr page.
The remainder of Gates' portfolio includes solid and growing utility companies, natural resource companies and the occasional hotel.Stockpickr tip of the day: Stockpickr has blatantly "borrowed" features from every search engine and major Web site. From Google we took the idea of the critical "I'm Feeling Lucky" button and made it part of our search feature. If you ever call me on the phone and it seems like I'm not paying attention, it's probably because I'm addictively hitting "I'm Feeling Lucky." Whenever you click on that button, the Stockpickr system takes you to either a random professional portfolio or a do-it-yourself portfolio that has analysis for at least three stocks. The results are often very surprising because I usually find the do-it-yourself portfolios with analysis to be more worthwhile than most of the professional ones, particularly since many hedge fund managers have been using Stockpickr to enter their portfolios. For instance, Keyrock Energy Partners is a good micro-cap energy-focused fund in Dallas that has been keeping its positions up-to-date on Stockpickr. Zetta Capital keeps its do-it-yourself portfolio up-to-date with analysis as well.
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