Renaissance Technologies (Jim Simons): Hedge Fund Portfolio Tracking - 13F Filing Q3 2008 ~ market folly

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Renaissance Technologies (Jim Simons): Hedge Fund Portfolio Tracking - 13F Filing Q3 2008

This is the 3rd Quarter 2008 edition of our ongoing hedge fund portfolio tracking series. Before reading this update, make sure you check out the preface to the series we're doing on Hedge Fund 13F filings here.

Next up is Jim Simons' Renaissance Technologies, ranked 4th in Alpha's 2008 hedge fund rankings. Rentec, as they are commonly known, was started by Simons in 1982 and has around $25 billion in assets total. They employ mathematical and statistical methods to execute their investments and trades. Their flagship $7 billion Medallion fund has averaged annual returns around 35%. Unlike most hedge funds which charge a flat 2% management fee on assets and then a 20% performance fee, Medallion charges a 5% management fee and a performance fee > 40%. The fees are high, but after seeing their returns, one could argue it is easily worth it. Medallion finished up 80% for 2008, as noted in our hedge fund year end performance post. The bad news to anyone reading is that the fund is pretty much limited to only former and current Renaissance employees. Simons other funds, which are open to other investors, were both down in '08.

Rentec is noted to be the most successful hedge fund in the industry, with returns eclipsing other legendary investors including Paul Tudor Jones, Bruce Kovner, and George Soros. Recently, Mr. Simons recently testified before Congress with numerous other hedge fund managers and discouraged the SEC from making funds' short positions available to the public. For more on Simons & Renaissance, check out our post on hedge fund manager interviews.

Disclaimer: Do note that tracking Rentec through 13F filings is not beneficial at all due to the quant nature of their firm. We are tracking them because they are a popular, prominent fund with solid returns and many readers requested it just for fun. Use this information for entertainment purposes only. Again, they are mainly a quant firm and they trade every asset under the sun. The majority of equity holdings you will see in their portfolio are most likely from their Institutional Equities Fund. Please keep this info in mind when viewing below. We don't want anyone doing anything stupid simply because they were unaware of Rentec's background.

The following were their long equity, note, and options holdings as of September 30th, 2008 as filed with the SEC. All holdings are common stock unless otherwise denoted.

Some New Positions (Brand new positions that they initiated in the last quarter):
Emerson Electric (EMR)
Air Products (APD)
US Steel (X)
Visa (V)
Celgene (CELG)
Praxair (PX)
Bunge (BG)
CVS Caremark (CVS)
Tyco (TYC)
Deere (DE)
National Oilwell Varco (NOV)
Alcoa (AA)
Baker Hughes (BHI)
Ralcorp (RAH)
Questar (STR)
Weatherford (WFT)
Chesapeake Energy (CHK)
Vodafone (VOD)
Williams Companies (WMB)
Cardinal Health (CAH)
Banco Itau (ITU)
BJ Services (BJS)
Hologic (HOLX)
PNC Financial (PNC)
Anheuser Busch (BUD)
Centex (CTX)
Sara Lee (SLE)

Some Increased Positions (A few positions they already owned but added shares to)
Costco (COST): Increased position by 2,030%
Apple (AAPL): Increased position by 1,650%
Freeport McMoran (FCX): Increased position by 1,029%
Wrigley (WWY): Increased position by 496%
General Dynamics (GD): Increased position by 258%
Amgen (AMGN): Increased position by 192%
DirecTV (DTV): Increased position by 90%
Gilead Sciences (GILD): Increased position by 65%
Honeywell (HON): Increased position by 44%
Eli Lilly (LLY): Increased position by 32%
Apollo Group (APOL): Increased position by 22.5%

Some Reduced Positions (Some positions they sold some shares of - note not all sales listed)
Berkshire Hathaway Class A (BRK-A): Reduced position by 50%
Colgate Palmolive (CL): Reduced position by 30%
AstraZeneca (AZN): Reduced position by 29%
Paychex (PAYX): Reduced position by 15%
Nationwide Financial Services (NFS): Reduced position by 14.5%
Philippine Long Distance (PHI): Reduced position by 14%
Walmart (WMT): Reduced position by 11%
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK): Reduced position by 10%

Removed Positions (Positions they sold out of completely)
Beckman Coulter (BEC)
Republic Services (RSG)
L3 Comm (LLL)
Occidental Petroleum (OXY)
Burlington Northern (BNI)
China Mobile (CHL)
CH Robinson (CHRW)
Fiserv (FISV)
Whiting Petroleum (WLL)
JPMorgan Chase (JPM)
Centurytel (CTL)
Grey Wolf (GW)
Joy Global (JOYG)
Omnicom (OMC)
Aeropostale (ARO)
Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ)
Reinsurance Group (RGA-A)
Best Buy (BBY)
Procter & Gamble (PG)
Petroleo Brasileiro (PBR-A)
American Express (AXP)
Kellogg (K)
Navteq - inactive
Wells Fargo (WFC)
3M (MMM)
United Technologies (UTX)
Agrium (AGU)
General Electric (GE)
Linear Technology (LLTC)

Top 20 Holdings (by % of portfolio)

  1. UST (UST): 1.17% of portfolio
  2. Walmart (WMT): 0.88% of portfolio
  3. Amgen (AMGN): 0.86% of portfolio
  4. Apple (AAPL): 0.78% of portfolio
  5. Wrigley (WWY): 0.7% of portfolio
  6. Forest Labs (FRX): 0.58% of portfolio
  7. Colgate Palmolive (CL): 0.54% of portfolio
  8. Philippine Long Distance (PHI): 0.52% of portfolio
  9. GlaxoSmithKline (GSK): 0.51% of portfolio
  10. Lockheed Martin (LMT): 0.5% of portfolio
  11. DirecTV (DTV): 0.49% of portfolio
  12. General Dynamics (GD): 0.48% of portfolio
  13. Emerson Electric (EMR): 0.45% of portfolio
  14. Air Products (APD): 0.45% of portfolio
  15. Chunghwa Telecom (CHT): 0.45% of portfolio
  16. Novo-Nordisk (NVO): 0.44% of portfolio
  17. Paychex (PAYX): 0.42% of portfolio
  18. Dun & Bradstreet (DNB): 0.41% of portfolio
  19. Humana (HUM): 0.41% of portfolio
  20. Freeport McMoran (FCX): 0.39% of portfolio

Assets from the collective long US equity, options, and note holdings were $43.9 billion last quarter and were $37.1 billion this quarter. Please note that we have not detailed changes to every single position in this update, but we have covered all the major moves. Also, keep in mind that these filings only include long equity, notes, and options holdings. They do not reflect their cash, short portions, or holdings in other markets (currency, commodities, debt, foreign markets, private equity, etc). This is just one of many funds in our hedge fund portfolio tracking series in which we're tracking 35+ prominent funds. The other funds we've already covered include:

Overall, its been one of the worst years ever for hedge funds, as we noted in our new November hedge fund performance number update. Thus, the recent moves they've made in their portfolios become all the more interesting given the way the market has played out.

More on Simons, Renaissance, & hedge funds:
- Simons testifies before Congress
- Simons' Hedge Fund manager interviews
- Hedge Fund investor letters
- Hedge Fund Rankings
- November hedge fund performance numbers
- October hedge fund performance numbers

blog comments powered by Disqus