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Debunking Ken Fisher: Performance, Fees, Net Worth

Billionaire Ken Fisher is one of the most well-known money managers and not just in the financial world. He runs a prestigious Forbes column, titled “Portfolio Strategy”, which he has been writing since 1984, which makes him the longest-running columnist in the publication’s history. He also has written 11 books, four of which became New York Times bestsellers and has published many papers. However, Mr. Fisher, who has a net worth of around $3.6 billion, is mainly known as the founder, chairman, and ex-CEO of Fisher Investments, a financial adviser with offices in the US, England, and Germany.

Fisher Investments was founded in 1979 and Ken Fisher had served as the company’s CEO until 2016, when he was succeeded by Damien Ornani. Mr. Fisher still has an active role at the company, as he is executive chairman and co-chief investment officer. Fisher Investments has around $83 billion in Assets Under Management and is one of the largest wealth managers in the US. Mr. Fisher managed to grow his fund to such big proportions through aggressive advertising. Fisher Investments is one of the most advertised investment advisors and the company often sends letters, e-mails, and makes phone calls to clients, directly advertising its products. In addition to advertising, the growth of Fisher’s AUM figure was helped by the fact that it caters to wealthy people, with an investment minimum of $500,000. The fund charges a flat fee that varies between 1% and 1.5% depending on the size of the portfolio.

Mr. Fisher’s performance was calculated by Forbes, based on his public stock picks revealed in his columns. The publication estimated in 2015, that over the previous 18 years, Mr. Fisher outperformed the broad US stock market by an average of 4.2 percentage points annually. Meb Faber, the co-founder and CIO of Cambria Investment Management, also looked through Fisher’s returns in an article posted on his blog. Between 1995 and 2014, Mr. Fisher’s picks lagged behind the MSCI World Index in 10 years, including four consecutive years between 2011 and 2014.


At Insider Monkey, we also calculated Fisher Investments’ performance by taking into account the fund’s positions disclosed in quarterly 13F filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We only took into account the fund’s long positions in companies worth over $1.0 billion. According to our estimates, Fisher Investments had 466 holdings in companies with market caps above $1.0 billion had a weighted average return of 4.6%, which is higher than the S&P 500’s gain of 2.6%. For the first six months, the fund’s returns amounted to 11.97%, above the Index’s gain of 8.24%. In the same fashion, Fisher’s holdings returned 7.4% in 2015, which was significantly higher than the S&P 500’s decline of 0.70%.

Fisher Investments is not the only fund that we track. Our database contains over 650 hedge funds and other institutional investors, whose quarterly 13F filings we analyze as part of our investment strategy (see more details). Aside from using data from 13F filings, our readers can also subscribe to their favorite investors and receive real-time alerts on any updates they disclose with the SEC. This feature is offered for free for everyone who signs up on our website, and requires just adding the funds to the follow list.

Ken Fisher
Ken Fisher
Fisher Asset Management

Fisher Investments’ last 13F filing revealed an equity portfolio worth $66.32 billion as of the end of June. The portfolio, which contains over 750 positions, is highly diversified across sectors, with Financial stocks amassing the largest share, 34%, followed by Technology, which accounts for 23%. In this article, we are going to take a look at some of the Fisher’s top picks.

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