Soros – Heavy Gold and Shorter Equities

Whilst media attention has been on Buffett’s disclosed Apple share holdings, the other big reveal from the “13F” regulatory filings reports in the US was that of George Soros.  For newer readers Soros is a global hedge fund legend who built a $24billion fortune with savvy bets on major market moves.  Of late he has been vocal in his warnings on China’s economy, saying its debt fuelled and overburdened economy resembles that of the US just prior to the GFC.  In January he stated a hard landing in China was “practically unavoidable” and that a market crash would ensue.

Yesterday’s 13F showed he slashed his long equity holdings by more than 25% to $4.5billion as at the end of March 2016, his lowest since 2013.  He also more than doubled his short position on US shares with a 2.1million share Put on SPY worth around $430m.

Not surprisingly then, he has gone heavy into gold, both taking a 1.7% stake in Barrick Gold (the world’s largest gold miner, and making him the biggest US listed holding) and a 1.05 million share call (long) option on SPDR Gold Trust worth about $124m.

On how to make money, George Soros once famously said:

"Find a widely held precept that is wrong and bet against it".

When others were calling gold a ‘pet rock’ the likes of George Soros were increasing their positions.  That’s how you get to $24biliion….