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Highlights From the 20 Most Popular Stocks Among Financial Advisors

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Financial advisors employ considerable resources to identify the best stocks that they could provide advice on to their customers. Therefore, imitating financial advisors could help us identify a number of stocks that could at least help us narrow down the research among thousands of publicly-traded companies. The researchers at TrackStar, the official newsletter of InvestingChannel’s division, Intuition, have identified a list of the 20 most searched stocks among financial advisors for the week of November 29 to December 5 and we would like to take a closer look at some of the highlights from the list and to overlap the data with our own and see how the funds that we follow have been trading these stocks of late.

At Insider Monkey, we track over 730 of the best performing hedge funds and other institutional investors. We analyze their equity portfolios in order to identify the stocks that they are collectively bullish on. This approach, when focused on the small-cap stocks,  helped us outperform the market by around 53 percentage points in the last three-plus years and returned 102% (see more details here).

Not surprisingly, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) ranked on the top of the list (it ranked on the first spot the previous week as well). A couple of days ago, the company made headlines after it was announced that Samsung would pay Apple $548 million in a patent dispute settlement. Moreover, Barron’s has named Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) among its top ten picks for 2016, projecting a 20% growth. All-in-all, investors have plenty of reasons to love Apple, including strong fundamentals and solid financial results that have beaten estimates for the last ten quarters. Apple currently ranks as the second-most popular stock among the funds we track, trailing only Allergan plc (NYSE:AGN). A total of 133 funds held shares of the tech giant at the end of September, amassing nearly 3% of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s outstanding stock.

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Oil was a hot industry last week, driven by a decrease of crude prices on the back of concerns regarding the likelihood of oversupply persisting into 2016. The US Energy Information Administration said in its latest weekly report that there was a decline in the amount U.S crude stockpiled, but that the store of refined products increased amid a warm winter start in the region. OPEC’s last monthly report also fueled the decline in oil prices, showing an increase in the production for OPEC countries and projecting a decline for non-OPEC countries. In this way, two energy stocks, specifically, Energy Transfer Partners LP (NYSE:ETP) and Kinder Morgan Inc (NYSE:KMI) were the new entrants to the list of the top 20 most-searched stocks among financial advisors and ranked on the second and third spots, respectively.

However, Energy Transfer Partners LP (NYSE:ETP) seems to have been overlooked by the funds we track. At the end of the third quarter, only 18 funds reported long positions in the company, flat over the quarter. The aggregate value of their holdings amounted to $470.44 million and was equal to 2.20% of the company’s outstanding stock. Among them, Alec Litowitz and Ross Laser’s Magnetar Capital and Renaissance Technologies, founded by Jim Simons, hold the largest positions, containing 4.27 million shares and 1.81 million shares, respectively. Both investors increased their exposure to Energy Transfer Partners LP (NYSE:ETP) during the third quarter.

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On the other hand, Kinder Morgan Inc (NYSE:KMI) registered a considerable increase in popularity, as the number of funds holding shares of the company went up to 72 from 64 between July and September. Among them, Brookside Capital owns 16.31 million shares. Yesterday, Kinder Morgan Inc (NYSE:KMI) announced a 74% cut to its dividend, in an attempt to save cash in order to repay its debt. The stock jumped on the back of the news, offsetting the declines of the previous few days.

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Biotech was another hot industry among financial advisors last week, with three companies ranking in the top 20, compared to just one a week earlier. The two new entrants to the list are Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ:CELG) and Intrexon Corp (NYSE:XON). On the next page we are going to discuss both stocks in more detail.

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