Piggybacking Icahn, other activists beats market

Carl Icahn
David Grogan | CNBC

Buying stocks that are the targets of activists such as Carl Icahn and Bill Ackman beats the market, according to a study this week from S&P Capital IQ.

The winning returns were based on buying after the activists' stakes were filed with the SEC, meaning investors don't have to get the same price as these heavy hitters to ride their coattails successfully.

Assets under management by hedge funds with an activist bent swelled to $120 billion following a $30 billion inflow in 2014, according to S&P Capital IQ.

Now, more than ever, you can't beat the "Barbarians," so you might as well join them. Here's how...

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