BALTIMORE (Stockpickr) -- Fund managers get to turn over a new leaf today, and they couldn't be happier.
With the dust settled from 2013's trading, the S&P 500 Index churned out gains of 31.8% for the year, spectacular performance by pretty much any measure. And so while it was a great year for investors in general, it was a challenging year for professional investors whose funds had to try to keep up with the broad market.
But all the performance counting starts anew as of 9:30 this morning, with the opening bell for the first trading session of 2014. So how are the hedge funds positioning themselves for the New Year? And should you follow suit with your own January trading?
Today, we'll take a closer look by peeking into the names that hedge fund managers love most right now.
To do that, we're focusing on 13F filings. Institutional investors with more than $100 million in assets are required to file a 13F -- a form that breaks down their stock positions for public consumption. From hedge funds to mutual funds to insurance companies, any professional investors who manage more than that $100 million watermark are required to file a 13F.
In total, approximately 3,400 firms file 13F forms each quarter, and by comparing one quarter's filing to another, we can see how any single fund manager is moving their portfolio around. While the data is generally delayed by about a quarter, thats not necessarily a bad thing research shows that applying a lag to institutional holdings can generate positive alpha in some cases. Thats all the more reason to crack open the moves being made with pro investors' $17.6 trillion under management.
Today, well focus on hedge funds' 5 favorite stocks from the last quarter.