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Here’s Why You Should Pay Attention to Stanley Druckenmiller’s Top Picks

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The Ira Sohn conference is an event that features some of the most important people from the investing community, which share their insights in the name of a noble cause. This is why Ira Sohn is one of the most awaited events each year and judging by the list of speakers this year (see here), it won’t be an exception. While some investors present their ideas by focusing on a specific company or industry, others choose to provide a macroeconomic outlook or to speak about the broader market and famous Stanley Druckenmiller belongs to the latter group, judging by his past presentations. The former manager of Duquesne Capital and former portfolio manager of billionaire George Soros’ Quantum Fund, Druckenmiller last time participated at the Ira Sohn conference back in 2013, where he talked about being bearish on China and suggested shorting the Australian Dollar. Since then a lot of time has passed and we have seen some bad data from China and the slump of its equity markets, while the Australian Dollar has dropped 25% against the greenback. Druckenmiller also said he was long Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL), due to its low exposure to China and the stock has surged by 76% since then.

We also suggest you take a look at the latest moves and stock picks of two other Ira Sohn Conference Speakers: Jeff Smith of Starboard Value and David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital.

Even though Druckenmiller shut Duquesne Capital in 2010 because he thought he wouldn’t be able to provide high returns to his clients, he still manages Duquesne Family Office. In its latest 13F, Duquesne reported a equity portfolio worth $977.13 million with 13 positions, which included seven new holdings. At the same time, the investor closed 13 stakes during the fourth quarter of 2015, which gives the equity portfolio a high turnover ratio. It’s top holding is represented by ‘Call’ options in Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD), followed by a $264.84 million stake in Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), which contained 2.53 million shares. The position was more than doubled during the third quarter and as the stock gained over 20% during the last three months of 2015, Druckenmiller trimmed his exposure to the stock by 39%.

Earlier this week, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) hosted its annual F8 developer conference, where it announced many plans for its future, such as chatbots for its Messenger app or a 360-degree camera for VR videos. Analysts are impressed by Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s plans and consider that this way the company will find ways to further monetize its platforms and diversify into other industries.

Last year, Druckenmiller attended the DealBook Conference, where he said that he is not particularly bullish on the market, but Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) might be an exception, seeing as Duquesne almost doubled its stake in the company to 190,000 shares during the last quarter of 2015. Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) was one of the best-performing stocks in the S&P 500 last year and investors are still looking forward to the company improving its gross margins in order to boost the bottom line. Its cloud segment is also showing substantial growth, although it still faces competition from other tech giants like Google and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT).

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) followed Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) in Duquesne’s portfolio, even though the investor reduced its position by 16% to 1.17 million shares. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has also shown progress in the cloud space with its Azure platform and its latest Windows 10 OS is one of the most popular in the company’s history and has one of the fastest rates of adoption. The company is expected to launch an updated version later this year.

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