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Active management for free with Edgar
Old 04-01-2005, 04:03 PM   #1
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Active management for free with Edgar

There are a few low turnover, actively managed mutual funds I like, whose expense ratios are high enough that I will not invest.

I'm considering using some of their ideas, buying a few of the stocks they are still adding to, and selling when they begin to reduce their position.

If I understand correctly, mutual funds are now required to report their holdings four times a year. Available on the SEC's Edgar: http://www.sec.gov/edgar/searchedgar/companysearch.html

Surely, others have tried this? Any suggestions on how to get the reports as soon as they come out? Easy ways to find changes in the fund's positions of a few specific stocks you're following? (under 5% ownership.)

I even could use the name of the quarterly reports, if you already know it. Only spent a little time so far, and it's a bit of a mess to search through. (N-30B or NSAR-B/A or others? What's A/B/D?) Part of the problem seems to be that the date of filing doesn't seem to always match the portfolio date. I'm really looking for the most recent portfolio, as soon as possible, and to be able to find changes in positions, which most of the time are NOT cases where over 5% of a company is owned.

Will this be worth the effort? (for an active investor)
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Re: Active management for free with Edgar
Old 04-02-2005, 01:29 PM   #2
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Re: Active management for free with Edgar

I don't do this as I mostly use index and non index funds and a few DRIP stocks. But there is a whole cottage industry of Buffett/BK watching. I would guess that those who follow even two steps behind him have done pretty well. But I do not have enough financial resources to trade stocks so I DCA into funds as that is how my income comes in. There are various ways to develop your personal investment strategy and following a particular fund or investor could really work as long as you agree with their investment decisions.
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Re: Active management for free with Edgar
Old 04-02-2005, 07:21 PM   #3
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Re: Active management for free with Edgar

Quote:
But I do not have enough financial resources to trade stocks so I DCA into funds as that is how my income comes in.
Sounds like a good plan to me.

I'm living off my investments, which include indexes and active funds. I also make active decisions to change allocations when I feel something is cheap or expensive, or if I feel something should reduce long term risk. (I do need to learn more about asset allocation, and am reading.)

My idea is to just pick a very small number of companies (maybe even just one, at least to start) from one or two mutual funds I highly respect. These would be stories I really believe in, especially cases where the assets (not just the earnings stream) of the company really seem to be worth more than my purchase price.

Funds I'm considering taking ideas from are TAVFX, CFIMX, OAKLX, or OAKMX. (Third Avenue, Clipper, or Oakmark).
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Re: Active management for free with Edgar
Old 04-03-2005, 06:32 AM   #4
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Re: Active management for free with Edgar

Quote:
Funds I'm considering taking ideas from are TAVFX, CFIMX, OAKLX, or OAKMX. (Third Avenue, Clipper, or Oakmark).
TAVFX's expense ration is about 1.12% which seems reasonable for an actively managed fund. I am curious as to how you can mirror its performance or characterics without either buying all the stocks, buying its top holdings or buying a sample of stocks (using statistical sampling technique)? This seems more expensive to me - not to mention a lot of efforts.
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Re: Active management for free with Edgar
Old 04-03-2005, 08:13 AM   #5
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Re: Active management for free with Edgar

Raddr board readers--all below is posted there, no need to read twice.

Spanky,

The 1.1 ER is way too high for me. That might easily be 1/5 to 1/2 of the real market return for the next 10 years, for all I know. I'm just not willing to give that up, even if I did want his whole portfolio. I don't expect him to blow away the market return, tho he might.

I really don't want to replicate TAVFX/Marty Whitman, just use some of his asset plays. And perhaps overseas holdings like Posco. I want to pick a few favorites from his fund. Maybe even just one company.

I'd be willing to have one security be several percent of my portfolio. For example, maybe I choose four securities from two mutual fund companies. I really believe in these four, and three are asset plays. I might put 15% of portfolio in these 4. Rest of portfolio is diversified funds/indexes.

Almost all of the 15% would be in the 3 asset plays, where there is some strong sense that the assets are worth more than the stock price at purchase. I'd expect an increase of safety, in some sense. Compared to most companies in my funds where value is mostly based on a small earnings stream going into the future forever, these are more solidly based on actual assets.
If the market is overvalued, it might reduce risk to buy a few companies which are trading below their NAV, which might not get (as) killed if the market declines.

TAVFX has nearly a 6 year holding period. So, I wouldn't be too concerned about having to sell soon. I'd try to guess around what price he paid/sold, maybe assuming he got in at one of the lowest prices that quarter, or out at one of the highest. I won't get the best prices, but am willing to take some risk there, and when extreme miss the chance to buy sometimes, or maybe even sell. I'd also have some sense myself of the reasoning behind owning the company, and might even sell before Whitman does.
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Re: Active management for free with Edgar
Old 04-03-2005, 08:32 PM   #6
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Re: Active management for free with Edgar

Lazyday,
You probably don't even need to go to all the effort to read quarterly prospectuses in Edgar if you want to do your strategy -- you j ust want a few issues these guys hold? Download their prospectuses -= they will be in there, and if it is new, just look for articles where they talk to the press or daytime TV -- they will all be touting these big positions so you will come in with them and help drive the price up --

maybe you will be looking for an edge -- a few weeks or something, but it just seems that would be luck -- either they have held it for a long time and decide to add to their positions (in which case you know what it is from among the holdings in a current propectus), or by the time the quarterly edgar filings come out its already old news anyway.

See my other post on Laurencewill's thread nearby on losing money in common stocks for my opinion on this -- I think individual stocks are a poor investment area for individual investors -- if you want to play hormones and bumper cars with a few percent of the portfolio, or with a bigger percent for a finite period of time with concrete objectives, then fine, but otherwise its just asking for trouble. You probably are smart enough to do well for awhile, but ER is forever, and forever gives you lots of opportunities to screw up.

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Re: Active management for free with Edgar
Old 04-04-2005, 10:49 PM   #7
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Re: Active management for free with Edgar

Quote:
you j ust want a few issues these guys hold? Download their prospectuses -= they will be in there, and if it is new, just look for articles where they talk to the press or daytime TV -- they will all be touting these big positions so you will come in with them and help drive the price up --
If Edgar is too much hassle, yes, I could download annual or quarterly reports. Looking for articles would be more trouble than Edgar, though I doubt you're serious there. Besides, the picks mentioned to the media would likely be positions they don't plan to buy more of.

Quote:
See my other post on Laurencewill's thread nearby on losing money in common stocks for my opinion on this -- I think individual stocks are a poor investment area for individual investors
I'm comfortable having 15% of portfolio in a handful of indiv stocks. I'm not suggesting others do so.
In posts above I mention how I think this could reduce risk of my portfolio.

Quote:
forever gives you lots of opportunities to screw up.
Good point, but IMO my active choices striving for cheapness reduce my risk rather than increase it, compared to something like TSM. Just my decision. In fact, if an investor asked my opinion, I might be inclined to try to talk them out of doing what I do, after reading how most people try to buy low sell high but do the oppositte.

Anyway, I didn't really mean for this thread to be an active vs passive one, or one about individual stocks being good or bad; just looking for advice on tracking a mutual fund manager's moves and using a few of his picks.
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Re: Active management for free with Edgar
Old 04-05-2005, 05:21 AM   #8
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Re: Active management for free with Edgar

As I posted in a similar thread on Raddr's forum - I plead guilty to watching Buffett, Whitman/Third Avenue, and others - notibly Wellesley, Wellington, Dodge and Cox for ideas. Shareholder letters and Yahoo.

I have 7 of the top ten(Wellesley) in my Drip stocks.

Watching Petrochina, H&R Block and own Suntrust in Buffett land.

My holding period is 7-10 years for a bad pick - and use a hap hazard DCA - so getting in early is not my priority - would be nice but not a priority - since the problem is almost always more stocks on the list than money to invest. One more time - div/div growth is usually my most valued metric in ER. Not pure - but - usually div oriented.
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