Stocks should rally if the U.S. and China agree to new negotiations and a ceasefire in the trade war, but the economic impact of tariffs will continue.Market Insiderread more
Democrats want Mueller's testimony on his probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election and Trump's efforts to influence it.Politicsread more
The trade war between Beijing and Washington appears to have depressed Chinese property purchases in the United States. China's own actions may also be playing a role.Real Estateread more
Tesla CEO Elon Musk sent out another email to his employees, pushing them to aim for a record number of vehicle deliveries to end the second quarter of 2019.Technologyread more
More than 300 companies are talking to government officials in Washington about how detrimental the trade war is.Marketsread more
Powell stresses the central bank's independence in a speech that comes amid continuous pressure from the White House to cut interest rates.The Fedread more
The Senate is expected to pass its own version of the border aid legislation, while the Trump administration has threatened to veto both bills.Politicsread more
Stocks in Asia were tepid on Wednesday afternoon after U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell tempered expectations for a potential interest rate cut.Asia Marketsread more
The purchase confirms Apple's continued interest in self-driving car software, and it will bolster Apple's engineering ranks with additional employees who can build autonomous...Technologyread more
More than 1,000 protesters marched to major foreign consulates on Wednesday calling on leaders at the upcoming G-20 summit to raise the plight of Hong Kong with China and to...World Politicsread more
In a text message, Grisham confirmed to CNBC that she will still be working for the first lady even as she takes on her new roles.Politicsread more
Sometimes following the crowd can be a profitable strategy, particularly if that crowd is composed of hedge fund managers who have been beating the market.
While investing often seems like a contrarian game where going against the flow feels like the better bet, the reality is that investors who bought the most-favored stocks have seen the best returns, according to a Goldman Sachs analysis of some 855 hedge funds whose assets total $2.1 trillion of the industry's $3.2 trillion total.
"Despite the strong track record of popular hedge fund stocks, investors often view high ownership as a negative trait when evaluating stock prospects. Clients often ask us to include hedge fund ownership data in stock screens, expressing a preference for buying 'under-owned' stocks," Goldman strategist Ben Snider said in a report for clients. "In fact, during the past decade hedge fund popularity has been a more useful criterion for selecting stocks than valuations."
Overall, the funds in the firm's coverage universe have returned 8% year to date.
But the basket of stocks with the most popular long positions and the highest concentrations have performed far better, returning 18% to easily outdistance the , which had gained 15% through the first quarter, the period during which Goldman conducted its review.
That hasn't been the case just this year.
Since 2001, stocks appearing in the top 10 portfolio positions have beaten the S&P 61% of the time, with an average excess return of 0.55 percentage points. Funds that hold the most shares of those stocks have beaten the market 63% of the time, with an average excess return of 1.96 percentage points.
"The signals from hedge fund popularity and valuation have been particularly useful in combination, especially for investors with slightly longer investment horizons. During the past decade, popular stocks have generally outperformed unpopular stocks across both 3- and 12-month investment horizons," Snider wrote.
The results come at a time when hedge funds overall have been criticized for their high fees and less-than-market returns.
Looking at the entire industry and its nearly 10,000 funds, the gain through April was 7.2%, as measured by the HFRI Fund Weighted Composite Index, compared with the S&P 500's total return of 18.2% through the period.
That makes stock selection all the more important.