Billionaire Ken Griffin is the founder and chief executive of $30 billion hedge fund Citadel Advisors, which manages one of the largest 13F portfolios in the world, a $223 billion behemoth as of September 30. One of the richest men in the world with a personal fortune estimated by Forbes at $9.8 billion, Griffin is also a tremendous philanthropist, having donated over $700 million of his own wealth to various causes, including The University of Chicago, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Museum of Modern Art.
Unlike many of the top hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey, Citadel is extremely active in options trading, which is why its portfolio value dwarfs the amount of capital that the firm actually manages. Citadel had 20 holdings in its 13F portfolio on September 30 that were valued at more than $1 billion, all of which were put or call positions. Its top four holdings were competing put and call positions on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEARCA:SPY) and Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), with those holdings valued at over $40 billion. Citadel’s top long position was a $920 million stake in Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), one of the 20 Dividend Stocks That Billionaires Are Piling On, a position which it increased nearly five-fold during the quarter.
During Q3, Citadel added 1,461 new positions to its portfolio, while selling out of 1,071 (or having them expire in the case of options contracts). Given the size of its 13F portfolio, Citadel’s sector allocations remained fairly stable, with the largest increases being seen in healthcare and communications stocks, while the largest declines were in consumer staples and industrials stocks.
Griffin was still confident in the market heading into the fourth quarter, though he was also preparing for the next financial crisis, which he believes is looming due to the current “debt-fueled buying binge”. Speaking at the Bloomberg Global Business Forum towards the end of September, Griffin anticipated that the bull market still had another 18-to-24 months left in it thanks to Trump’s tax overhaul spurring U.S companies to further growth and/or shareholder value creation. Unfortunately for Griffin and his investors, the bull market appears to have ended earlier than anticipated, which contributed to a 3% loss for the fund in November.
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On the next page we’ll check out three of the biggest purchases made by Citadel in Q3, as well as two of the biggest positions that the fund dumped.