Latest Portfolio Moves By Berkshire Hathaway And Other Hedge Funds

Tracking the latest investment portfolio of legendary hedge fund managers and investors is often used as a gauge by DIY traders and investors to make decisions. Some of the most notable investors people love to track include Warren Buffett and his holding company Berkshire Hathaway, or Black Rock, Ray Dalio and his hedge fund Bridgewater Associates, Man Group and numerous others.

Although there are ways to determine which U.S. publicly traded companies anyone invests in, it often happens that they seek permission from the SEC to temporarily withhold such data – and when these requests are granted by the SEC, there is a time lag between the trades and when the public finds out. 

Berkshire Hathaway:

Although in recent years, Warren Buffett invested in emerging market startups Nubank (Brazil) and Paytm (India) – he does not appear to be heavily involved in startup investments. He might be one to brush off Gold as an irrational investment choice, but seems to be as conventional as ever when selecting companies to invest in. 

The five biggest investments Berkshire Hathaway holds right now:

Apple (AAPL) (44% portfolio representation)

Bank of America Corporation (BAC) (8.8% portfolio representation)

Chevron Corporation (CVX) (8% portfolio representation)

Coca Cola Co (KO) (7.4% portfolio representation)

American Express (AXP) (7.4% portfolio representation)

It seems surreal that Buffett would hold such a disproportionately high stake in Apple, however if one considers that Apple is one of the most valuable companies in the world, it all starts to make sense. To put this into perspective: 85% of the Berkshire Hathaway investments consist of just 10 stocks. 

Buffet’s surprise move to cash: In Q1 of 2023 investors were disappointed in the low energy news from Buffet – but could that mean he is a bear and not a bull right now? He will reveal his hand shortly. However: there is a lesson to be learned in copying other investors blindly. Around the time of the SVB collapse, it is said that Buffet moved a lot of money into cash. Had some entrepreneurs followed him blindly, they would have missed out on the relative safety offered by the stock market, only to lose their cash to a collapsing bank.

With Warren Buffet piling into cash, perhaps it is time to look further to discover what more adventurous hedge funds are doing. It is possible that some other industries might represent a silver lining:

Hedge Fund Raising $500Million for Football Investments:

Those who trade based on the news, would have noticed that football investments are pivoting towards the mainstream now. According to Bloomberg, Fasanara Holdings announced its intention to raise $500Million to invest in football transfers. However, since football transfers do not actually involve real assets such as club buildings, it might be worth looking towards football stocks that are backed by real assets. 

European football is finally opening up and this may represent an opportunity within the Western sphere of influence. Given the threat a new multi-polar world poses to technology stocks – as a sizable part of the world population ends up siding with China / Russia, some would see it as more important than ever to seek out investment opportunities more shielded against global upheaval and geopolitical fallout. 

Manchester United ($MANU) is one of the most valuable football clubs in Europe. According to The Mirror, fans are not in favor of the Qatari takeover – to the extent that there is a possibility of a European taking over the club: fans want Thomas Zilliacus to the football club. Whichever hedge fund, sovereign fund or group of investors acquire Manchester United, are likely the type of investors that appreciate real assets, given the spectacular facilities the club has. According to ESPN, bids are below the valuation the Glazer family has in mind – with other outlets noting that the Glazer family may be willing to accept offers above 7 Billion GBP. Yet with the Glaziers being in control, fans may feel intimidated to invest in a minority stake – which leads us to explore other options in the market. 

Brea PLC (NASDAQ:BREA) recently IPO’d and took the first Italian football club onto the U.S. stock market. It is a great alternative to the “Glazier” dominated $MANU stock – where ordinary fans can take up more substantial positions. Brea PLC owns Brera F.C. which is the 3rd most valuable club in Milan. It swiftly announced plans to acquire a football club in Macedonia, as well as to start a new football club in Maputo, Mozambique. Brea PLC smartly moved into the digital space too by participating in ESports, with additional visibility to millions of fans who play virtual football on Sony gaming devices. 

Brea PLC did not stop there: The FENIX TROPHY, known as the “Champions League for Amateurs” according to BBC Sport, is a tournament that is owned, created, and promoted by Brera Holdings PLC. The tournament has been recognized by UEFA, and the teams that will be participating in it have been determined.

The location of the “Final Four” stage, which will occur in June 2023, will be announced soon. This is a social impact football brand, leading the way in social integration with football at the center of its strategy, set on raising new talent around the world. By growing talent pools through a scaled model, it may have identified the most innovative solution to date to grow new talent. Now, at the end of March 2023, it would appear that the stock price of Brea PLC is near breakout.

Investors turning bullish on Brea PLC in March 2023:

Celebrities and Hedge Funds Piling Into Plant Based Foods:

Plant based food appears to be a sizzling hot opportunity – as it is touted by the WEF and others like Bill Gates as the ultimate food. Pressure from all angles is being exerted to give this industry preferential treatment – including from the most important influencers on the planet. 

Sergi Roberto, a footballer from Spain who currently plays for La Liga’s Barcelona and the Spanish national team, has made an investment in Heura, a Catalan plant-based company. Along with Sergio Busquets, another footballer, and Ricky Rubio, an NBA star, Roberto and other investors have assisted in raising over €20M for Heura. This funding has been secured ahead of the company’s Series B funding round scheduled for the upcoming year.

Chris Smalling, a former Manchester United footballer, launched ForGood, a VC firm that invests solely in start-ups and entrepreneurs who are addressing pressing environmental concerns. The firm has already supported well-known names in the food industry, such as Allplants and Matthew Kenney Cuisine.

Other celebrities who moved into this space include Leonardo DiCaprio who invested in “Neat Burger” and “Beyond Meat”, Natalie Portman invested in “Oatly”, Jeff Bezos invested in Impossible Foods, Beyond Meat and the Chilean plant-based dairy and meat start-up NotCo – and Bill Gates, invested in Beyond Meat, Impossible Foods and Motif. 

Sports Betting Stocks:

These stocks are not to be confused with ordinary sports stocks for one important reason: They are primarily digital businesses that are based on the principles of gambling and addiction. Europeans claim to have strict measures to prevent financial hardship, however these betting apps are highly addictive and through a combination of online apps and in-store visits, many Europeans do get themselves into financial trouble.

Although past performance indicate that sports betting stocks are somewhat “recession proof”, It is needless to point out that investors with a strong moral compass may have issues. Whilst they would find these stocks more appealing than war and defense stocks, many still take issue with the fact that gambling addiction is going through a liberalization process from a regulatory perspective. Examples of these stocks include:

  • Penn Entertainment Inc. (ticker: PENN)
  • DraftKings Inc. (DKNG)
  • Betsson AB (STO: BETS-B)
  • Flutter Entertainment PLC (PDYPY)
  • Churchill Downs Inc. (CHDN)
  • Caesars Entertainment Inc. (CZR)
  • MGM Resorts International (MGM)
  • Boyd Gaming Corp. (BYD)

*Note that the U.S. is edging closer to Europe in terms of liberalization which could see additional proliferation of this market. 

Bridgewater Associates:

In a post Ray Dalio era, the company is driving down costs by slashing 100 jobs. This is because it is betting big on AI and its ability to replace human workers. It may well be that the most interesting developments are not in the stocks Bridgewater invests in but rather in Bridgewater itself given this dramatic announcement and other pivotal moves on the agenda.

Not all Hedge Funds Predict An Easy Ride:

Clearly there are some cases where hedge funds are bullish – especially where battered post pandemic stocks could be snapped up for bargains. This is exactly what happened in the case of MCO football clubs – a new trend in investment which some say is “hard to ignore”

Notwithstanding these recovering sectors, like travel and sports, there are sectors like residential property and banking as well as technology, that are facing incredibly bearish investor sentiment. For example, the hedge fund manager Dan Niles predicted the banking crisis will get worse. Man Group CEO Luke Ellis provided a more brutal assessment, pointing out that equities have yet to bottom out. This could mean that now is not necessarily the time to seek out the best penny stock unless fundamentals are sound: it does mean that a better understanding of the new investment opportunities should be based on a new reality that of a multipolar world and the “club” you belong to.

Final Take: 

Given SEC approved delays in disclosures, don’t expect guru investors to lead the way: in fact, by the time most people find out where these legends invest, it can already be late in the game. Finding value may well be a case of assessing what a large number of hedge funds invest in, especially those who care to research industries that everyone overlooks. Finding grossly undervalued stocks during times of turbulence should not require boldness, but rather a mastery in the area of holistic stock market analysis. 

Disclosure: The author is a researcher, not an investor – and have not taken up any positions in any of the stocks or industries discussed here. Newstrail does not provide investment advice. This content is mere opinion.