An App that Apes the Best Hedge Fund Managers

October 26, 2015 James Heinsman Hedge Fund News

New app helps investors know what the best managers are up to.

New app helps investors know what the best managers are up to.

There is nothing new about following your favorite traders to plug into their winning investment strategies. Research services make a business out of following the trades of the celebrities of finance like Bill Ackman and Carl Icahn.

There is also the SEC’s gift to the copycat investing world, the Form 13F. This form is required by law to be filled out and filed with the SEC within 45 days of the end of every quarter, proclaiming the trading moves of large and influential money managers. An entire industry has arisen from mining these forms, using the information therein as actionable advice.

It is no surprise that there is now an app that has taken this idea to the next level. The manager of iBillionaire ETF, iBillionaire Capital has created a roboadvisor platform for the Apple iPhone and iPad which reveals the trades of the star hedge fund manager of your choice and allows the ordinary investor to make the same trades at a real brokerage account at a third-party custodian.

The idea behind the app is as simple as it is brilliant. First off, getting into a hedge fund is not for regular earthlings: it requires personal worth approaching and or exceeding 7 digits. And even if someone has that kind of money, many of the best-performing funds are closed to new money, and the ones that aren’t require an introduction by the right people to the fund manager(s).

And let’s say you’ve jumped through all those hoops; who wants to pay a crazy 2 percent management fee, and then an even crazier 20 percent fee on profits? Say hello to iBillionaire. For as little as $100, (yes I wrote that with all the zeroes it needs) a person in possession of this app can trade like the stars, and he will only have to pay a 0.9 percent annual management fee. There are no additional commissions or fees. The way iBillionaire puts it, this app gives ordinary investors the ability to “invest like the 1 percent for less than 1 percent,” and do it easily from their phone.

Before anyone flies into a fit of downloading this app, remember that it is impossible to follow your favorite investing guru exactly. The 13F filings only track long positions: there is no way to know what stocks your hero shorted. You also can’t replicate any options or futures bets they may have made. And let’s not forget that 45-day time lag, which might as well be an eternity for some of the more volatile trading giants out there. In many cases by the time the iBillionaire trader has purchased a stock, the guru has already sold it.

All in all, the idea seems to be a good one. For a minimal amount of money this app gives users access to the ideas and behaviors of some of the world’s most successful hedge fund managers, and as we say often: “Knowledge is power.”

Bill Ackman, Carl Icahn, iBillionaire, iPhone app, SEC 13F,

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