With the high minimum investments and pesky fees, not all investors can or want to become hedge fund clients. However, there are certainly times when plenty of investors would love to have access to a list of stocks in which hedge fund managers are accumulating positions. Some ETFs make that possible.
One of those funds is the Global X Top Guru Holdings Index ETF (NYSEArca: GURU), which celebrated its first birthday Tuesday. The aptly named GURU tracks the Top Guru Holdings Index, which is based on the holdings of hedge fund managers as reported in their 13F SEC filings. [Hedge Fund ETF Uses Market Neutral Strategy]
That strategy is not without its flaws and naysayers let their feelings be known when GURU and its rival, the AlphaClone Alternative Alpha ETF (NYSEArca: ALFA) debuted last year. Both ETFs were criticized as niche plays. Critics were also quick to point out that hedge fund managers and other noteworthy investors do not file 13Fs with the Securities and Exchange Commission until well after, usually 45 days, they initiate positions in stocks. [ETF Spotlight: Hedge Fund Clone]
Additionally, GURU, though not as pricey as a direct hedge fund investment, is not cheap by the standards of most ETFs with an annual expense ratio of 0.75%.
Those critiques made it difficult for these hedge fund replication ETFs to gain traction when they first debuted, but GURU is showing signs of life. The ETF now has just over $44 million in assets under management and while that may not sound like much, consider that almost $38.2 million of that total has flowed into the ETF in just the second quarter, according to flows data from Index Universe.
Investors are being rewarded for their new found faith in GURU. The ETF has surged 10.3% in the past 90 days and is up 16.4% year-to-date, a performance that is nearly 400 basis points better than the S&P 500. Part of the secret to GURU’s success is the ETF’s almost equal-weight methodology. [A Different Spin on Equal-Weight ETFs]
The largest of the ETF’s 52 holdings, Vivus (NasdaqGS: VVUS), accounts for just 2.29% of the fund’s weight. GURU’s smallest holding, American Capital Agency (NasdaqGS: AGNC) has a weight of 1.64%. Other top-10 holdings in GURU include Dow components J.P. Morgan Chase (NYSE: JPM), Merck (NYSE: MRK) and Microsoft (NasdaqGS: MSFT) along with Apple (NasdaqGS: AAPL).
GURU’s holdings are drawn from a universe of nearly 70 hedge funds, including well-known funds such as Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square and David Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital. As hedge fun managers love to say, “Past performance is no guarantee of future results,” but GURU does give everyday investors a credible option for mimicking some of their hedge fund heroes.
Global X Top Guru Holdings Index ETF
ETF Trends editorial team contributed to this report. Tom Lydon’s clients own shares of Apple and Microsoft.
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