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Investing Specialists

Ultimate Stock-Pickers: Top 10 Buys and Sells

Activity levels have picked up amidst rising valuations and interest rates in the new year.

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For the past nine years, Ultimate Stock-Pickers’ primary goal has been to uncover investment ideas our equity analysts and top investment managers find attractive, in a manner timely enough for investors to gain some value. As part of this process, we scour the quarterly (in some cases, the monthly) holdings of 26 different investment managers, 22 of which manage mutual funds that Morningstar's manager research group covers, and four of which manage the investment portfolios of large insurance companies. As they become available, we attempt to identify trends and outliers among their holdings as well as any meaningful purchases and sales that took place during the period under examination.

In our last article, we walked through some of the buying activity we were seeing from our Ultimate Stock-Pickers during the fourth quarter of 2017 (and the beginning part of the first quarter) of this year. The piece itself was an early read on the purchases—focused on high-conviction and new-money buys—that were made during the period, based on the holdings of nearly 90% of our top managers. With all our top managers having reported their holdings for fourth-quarter 2017, and with some reporting first-quarter 2018 results, we now have a much more complete picture of what they were up to during the period. Following what had been a recurring trend over the previous seven quarterly periods, our Ultimate Stock-Pickers were once again net sellers during the most recent period, reaching their highest levels during this time frame. Interestingly, and reversing a trend during this same eight-period length of time, overall activity levels are now at their highest levels.

The Morningstar Ultimate Stock-Pickers Team does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.