) -- Want to invest like the smartest hedge fund in the world? Ignore value and balance sheets and let your computer do the hard work for you.
No, that's not a joke.
Founded by mathematics professor Jim Simons in 1982,
boasts one of the best track records in investment history. In the 1990s, the flagship Medallion fund earned record-breaking cumulative returns of 2,478%. And more recently, the firm's 2009 performance gave it the top ranking for large fund performance.
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RenTec is a quant shop, which means that the firm uses computer models to figure out which stocks it should add to its massive $38 billion equity portfolio. Rather than looking for value stories, the firm's models hone in on trends in price action and statistical relationships between securities. That quantitative bent requires a serious brain trust, and Renaissance has it.
Of the firm's 150 people, around half hold PhDs in scientific fields -- physicists and statisticians aren't exactly the demographics you'd find at most Wall Street firms. But that focus on hiring the smartest unconventional thinkers has helped fuel some of the biggest gains in the industry.
By looking at RenTec's 13F filing with the SEC, we can get a partial peek at some of the big relationships that the firm is putting to work for its institutional and internal investors -- without paying the 5% management fee and 44% profit participation that the firm charges its clients.
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With that, here's a glimpse at
five of the new names
that Renaissance Technologies added to its portfolio in the second quarter.