Tags: Buffett | IBM | Tried | True

Learn From Buffett’s IBM Move: Bet on Tried and True

By Michael Kling   |   Friday, 18 Nov 2011 12:04 PM

Large investors like Warren Buffett, David Tepper and John Paulson are reducing risks, according to an article on moneycontrol.com, part of CNBC. Should you do the same?

For instance, Tepper's Appaloosa investment fund, significantly cut exposure to stocks in general and financial stocks in particular. That says a lot about how big name investors view how the eurozone panic might impact the U.S.

Financials have dropped almost 19 percent so far this year, the worse showing of any segment in the S&P 500.

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"It probably makes sense to avoid those," the article quoted Ryan Detrick, a Schaeffer's Investment Research analyst, as saying. "If the market rolls over, that's probably the area that leads us lower."

Warren Buffett
(Getty Images photo)
Still, investors should not be entirely bearish, Detrick said, noting some "silent accumulation" of large investors.

Regulatory filings of those large, savvy investors are going for the tried and true methods, according to the article. Their filings show that investors are moving from stocks with depressed values to stocks they believe will offer value and predictable but subdued returns.

Buffett's purchase of IBM stock shows his interest in old-time tech.

IBM's yield last year was a mediocre 1.5 percent, but its stock was up 30 percent over the past year. Buffett has traditionally avoided high-tech stocks, so his foray into the area raised eyebrows.

"It tells you exactly what the market's been saying — old-school tech, the older players in tech are starting to make moves to the upside because people want to make moves in big, liquid names," the article quoted Dave Rovelli, head of equity trading at Canaccord Adams, as saying.

"They want to be in the tech names so they can get in and get out."

Ordinary stock pickers should beware of following big-name investors, because those experts can move quickly, Philip Silverman, of Kingsview Capital, told CNBC. You can find what they own and recently purchased, but you don't know what they are planning.

Tepper sold all his holdings in Bank of America Corp, Wells Fargo, Fifth Third Bancorp, and SunTrust Banks and reduced his stake in Citigroup, according to MarketWatch.

The only bank investments he still had are in the Royal Bank of Scotland and Citigroup.

He also dumped Yahoo, Hewlett-Packard, and Pfizer, his largest holding, and reduced positions in Goodyear, Macy's and Microsoft.

Tepper made headlines early this year by betting on banks in the fourth quarter, putting over $1.23 billion in four major banks.

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