15 Stock Picks That Billionaires Love
Billionaire investors were busy buying the dip during the first quarter of 2022. Among their top stock picks were these 15 companies of various shapes and values.
No, you can't get rich simply by copying billionaires' moves, but there's still something irresistible about following their top stock picks.
After all, the billionaires we're about to talk about have larger-than-life reputations when it comes to investing other rich people's money. Meanwhile, their resources for research, as well as their intimate connections to insiders and others, can give them unique insight into their stock picks.
Studying which stocks they're chasing with their capital (or which stocks the billionaires are selling off, for that matter) can be an edifying exercise for retail investors.
There's a reason the rich get richer, for one thing. But it's also helpful to see where billionaires sometimes make mistakes – at least in the short term. No matter how successful they've been in the past, all investors are fallible. Those who've amassed multibillion-dollar personal fortunes have merely been right more often than they've been wrong.
Here are 15 of the most recent top stock picks from the billionaire class. In each case, the billionaire below has initiated a substantial position or added to an existing one. Several of these investments are popular blue-chip stocks, while others keep a much lower profile. Some of these names might even surprise you.
Share prices are as of June 2. Stake values and portfolio weights are as of March 31. Data is courtesy of S&P Global Market Intelligence, YCharts, WhaleWisdom.com, Forbes and regulatory filings made with the Securities and Exchange Commission, unless otherwise noted. Stocks are listed by weight in the selected billionaire investor's equity portfolio, from smallest to largest.
15. Procter & Gamble
- Billionaire investor: Ray Dalio (Bridgewater Associates)
- Stake value: $1.0 billion
- Percent of portfolio: 4.2%
Ordinarily a stock has to account for at least 5% of a billionaire's portfolio to be included on this list. But in the case of Procter & Gamble (PG, $147.21) and Ray Dalio, we have to make an exception.
Dalio's Bridgewater Associates is the largest hedge fund in the world, with $235.6 billion in assets under management (AUM). Dalio, who founded the Westport, Connecticut-based fund in 1975, has an estimated net worth of $22 billion, according to Forbes.
So it's notable that Procter & Gamble, at 4.20% of Bridgewater's portfolio, is the fund's No. 1 stock pick. Only the Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF (VWO), at 4.22% of the portfolio, is a larger position.
What's most interesting, however, is that Bridegwater has been adding to the position aggressively for some time. The hedge fund upped its stake in the Dividend Aristocrat by 31% in the first quarter. That followed an increase of 10% during the final three months of 2021.
Dalio apparently anticipated the market's hard turn away from pricey growth names and into value stocks in 2022 – and then doubled down on the bet. Bridegwater held 6.8 million shares in the consumer staples giant worth $1 billion as of March 31.
Procter & Gamble – as defensive a dividend stalwart as they come – is beating the broader market by a comfortable margin so far this year.
14. Warby Parker
- Billionaire investor: Daniel Sundheim (D1 Capital Partners)
- Stake value: $505.3 million
- Percent of portfolio: 6.0%
Warby Parker (WRBY, $17.98) went public in the fall of 2021 promising to disrupt the eye-care industry by selling stylish prescription glasses online and in stores for as little as $95.
But where the brand has been an unqualified success story, WRBY stock decidedly has not. The company's direct listing priced at $54.05 per share. Today shares trade for around $18. Heck, they fell more than 27% in the first quarter alone.
It has been painful to say the least. However, WRBY bulls can take heart in the fact that at least one billionaire is not only keeping the faith, but even spies a bargain.
Daniel Sundheim, with an estimated net worth of $3.2 billion, has owned a stake in Warby Parker since it went public in Q3 2021. What's really interesting, however, is that Sundheim's New York hedge fund upped its WRBY bet by a substantial margin in the first quarter of 2022.
D1 Capital Partners ($40 billion AUM) raised its stake in Warby Parker by 11%, or 1.5 million shares in Q1. The fund held a total of 14.9 million shares worth $505.3 million as of March 31, making WRBY fifth-largest among its stock picks.
And as important as Warby Parker is to D1, the hedge fund is even more important to the eyewear company. With 13% of WRBY shares outstanding, Sundheim's hedge fund is the company's second-largest investor after T. Rowe Price.
13. Canadian National Railway
- Billionaire investor: John Armitage (Egerton Capital)
- Stake value: $1.3 billion
- Percent of portfolio: 6.6%
Egerton Capital ($27.4 billion AUM) co-founder and chief investment officer John Armitage has long been a believer in Canadian railway stocks. His London hedge fund's largest holding is Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) – a position it has held since 2016.
But Armitage, with an estimated net worth of $2.9 billion, turned his attention toward rival Canadian National Railway (CNI, $118.21) in Q1. Egerton Capital, which has owned shares in CNI since the third quarter of 2021, upped its stake by 21%, or 1.6 million shares, during the first three months of the year.
Armitage's hedge fund now owns 9.4 million shares in the sprawling transportation services company. The position, which was worth $1.3 billion as of March 31, accounts for 6.6% of the fund's portfolio, making CNI its fourth-largest stock pick.
It's not hard to divine Armitage's thinking behind the move. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has sent commodities prices soaring. That, in turn, has been a boon for shares in the companies that transport them. Canada is already one of the world's top exporters of wheat, after all.
CNI stock gained more than 9% during the first quarter, vs. a decline of 5% for the S&P 500. It has since cooled off but still leads the broader market by a comfortable margin for the year-to-date.
12. T-Mobile US
- Billionaire investor: Andreas Halvorsen (Viking Global Investors)
- Stake value: $1.7 billion
- Percent of portfolio: 7.0%
Analysts are big fans of T-Mobile US (TMUS, $135.80), and not just because it's one of the best stocks for a bear market. True, defensive names such as telcos are often a good bet when stocks are broadly struggling, but TMUS has tremendous upside potential too, analysts say.
Andreas Halvorsen, with an estimated net worth of $6.6 billion, sure seems to agree. His Viking Global Investors ($59.8 billion AUM) upped its stake in TMUS by 2%, or 269,888 shares, in Q1. The Greenwich, Connecticut-based hedge fund held 13.4 million shares worth $1.7 billion as of March 31 to make T-Mobile tops among its stock picks.
Halvorsen first bought TMUS during the first quarter of 2020, and the bull case for shares has only strengthened since then. The telco's bright future stems from its $30 billion merger with Sprint. Although the deal closed two years ago, its escalating benefits are only now being fully appreciated by the Street.
That's because the "trove" of mid-band spectrum Sprint brought to T-Mobile allowed the telco to rapidly build out its next-generation 5G mobile wireless network, notes Argus Research analyst Joseph Bonner (Buy). The high-speed network, in turn, gives the company a competitive advantage over Verizon (VZ) and AT&T (T).
Analysts' average target price of $167.55 gives TMUS implied upside of 23% in the next 12 months or so.
11. Crowdstrike Holdings
- Billionaire investor: Chase Coleman, III (Tiger Global Management)
- Stake value: $2.0 billion
- Percent of portfolio: 7.5%
Hedge-fund legend Chase Coleman III, with an estimated net worth of $10.3 billion, raised his bet on Crowdstrike Holdings (CRWD, $174.02) in a big way in Q1.
Coleman upped Tiger Global Management's ($124.7 billion AUM) stake by 16%, or 1.3 million shares, bringing his hedge fund's total holdings up to 8.8 million shares. The position, worth $2 billion as of March 31, is now Tiger Global's third-largest holding.
The New York hedge fund initiated the CRWD stake during the second quarter of 2019, and it has been a lucrative investment thus far. Shares in the cybersecurity company are up 175% since Sept. 30, 2019, vs. 40% for the S&P 500 over the same period.
And yet CRWD stock lagged the broader market by wide margins during much of the first quarter of 2022, suggesting Coleman was able to beef up Tiger Global's position at deeply discounted prices.
With 3.8% of its shares outstanding, Tiger Global is Crowdstrike's fifth-largest shareholder. And Coleman could really use a winner right about now. This year's rout in tech stocks has hammered Tiger Global's returns, according to industry reports.
Steep selloffs in Tiger Global's top stock picks – which include JD.com (JD), Microsoft (MSFT) and Sea Ltd. (SE) – caused the fund to lose $17 billion during the first four months of 2022, per calculations by LCH Investment, a fund of hedge funds run by the Edmond de Rothschild Group. The loss stands as one of the biggest dollar declines for a hedge fund in history.
10. S&P Global
- Billionaire investor: Chris Hohn (TCI Fund Management)
- Stake value: $2.8 billion
- Percent of portfolio: 7.6%
Shares in S&P Global (SPGI, $343.04) lagged the broader market by wide margins throughout the first quarter, and Chris Hohn apparently took it as an opportunity to buy the dip.
Hohn, with an estimated net worth of $7.9 billion, made his fortune with The Children's Investment Fund Management. More commonly known as TCI Fund Management, the London hedge fund boasts $36.8 billion in managed securities.
TCI maintains a concentrated portfolio of just 11 stocks, so it's notable that Hohn upped the fund's stake in SPGI by 82%, or 3.1 million shares. With 6.8 million shares worth $2.8 billion as of March 31, SPGI is the fund's sixth largest position.
Hohn actually has a history of slinging around large blocks of SPGI, a position he initiated in 2017. He sold off large chunks in Q4 and Q3 of 2021, for example, but those sales followed a 147% increase to the holding in Q1.
Although most investors probably know SPGI for its majority stake in S&P Dow Jones Indices, the company is also a central player in corporate and financial analytics, information and research. Bulls applaud SPGI's recent acquisition of IHS Markit, which expands its presence in environmental, social and governance (ESG) products and services.
SPGI also happens to be an equity income machine. This member of the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats has increased its dividend every year for 49 consecutive years.
9. Star Bulk Carriers
- Billionaire investor: Howard Marks (Oaktree Capital Management)
- Stake value: $772.6 million
- Percent of portfolio: 8.1%
Howard Marks, co-founder and co-chairman of Oaktree Capital Management ($147.5 billion AUM), made much of his estimated $2.2 billion fortune by specializing in distressed debt.
Long-time holding Star Bulk Carriers (SBLK, $31.25), however, has always been a different sort of bet for Marks.
He initiated a stake in the marine transportation company back in 2013, when industry trends were tough and the stock looked cheap. Cut to today, and the macro environment has decidedly improved. After all, dry bulk carriers ship everything from iron ore to grain to forestry products. Rising prices across the commodities complex should offer a steady tailwind for SBLK and peers for some time.
Oaktree Capital gave itself increased exposure to those inflationary trends by topping off its stake in SBLK in Q1. The Los Angeles hedge fund added 28,215 shares, an increase of less than 1%, to bring its total holdings up to 26 million shares worth $772.6 million as of March 31.
SBLK is now Oaktree's second-largest stock pick after Chesapeake Energy (CHK), and it's proving to be a big winner in 2022. Shares were up 47% for the year-to-date through June 1, vs. a 14% decline for the broader market.
The Street thinks SBLK has even more outperformance ahead of it. Analysts give the stock a consensus recommendation of Buy, and with high conviction at that.
8. Bausch Health Companies
- Billionaire investor: Steven Tananbaum (Goldentree Asset Management)
- Stake value: $182.2 million
- Percent of portfolio: 8.4%
Steven Tananbaum, founder of Goldentree Asset Management ($52 billion AUM), is best known for investing in distressed debt, but equities also catch his eye. Case in point: Bausch Health Companies (BHC, $9.63).
BHC develops pharmaceuticals, medical devices and over-the-counter medications, with focus areas in eye health, gastroenterology and dermatology. Tananbaum has held a stake since 2018, but he really turned bullish in Q1.
Indeed, Tananbaum upped Goldentree's holdings by 34%, or 2 million shares, during the first three months of the year. With nearly 8 million shares worth $182.2 million as of March 31, BHC is the New York hedge fund's third largest position.
Tananbaum, with an estimated net worth of $2.1 billion, has cited BHC's compelling valuation, organic growth and successful efforts to clean up its balance sheet as reasons to like the stock.
On that last point, the company has gone to great lengths to lighten up on debt. In fact, in early May, BHC spun off its Bausch + Lomb (BLCO) eye care division to pay down debt – a move that also happened to be one of 2022's most anticipated initial public offerings (IPOs).
Wall Street pros like BCH too, giving it a consensus recommendation of Buy, with fairly high conviction. Of the 11 analysts covering BHC tracked by S&P Global Market Intelligence, six rate it at Strong Buy, two say Buy, two call it a Hold and one says Sell.
- Billionaire investor: Seth Klarman (Baupost Group)
- Stake value: $824.7 million
- Percent of portfolio: 8.9%
Qorvo (QRVO, $113.36) makes chips and integrated modules that enable wireless and wired connectivity. It's a bet on the boom in everything from smart home and auto connections, the Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G expansion in general.
Seth Klarman built his estimated net worth of $1.5 billion in part by being early to these sorts of megatrends, so bulls will certainly be pleased with his latest moves in Qorvo stock.
Klarman's Baupost Group ($31.6 billion AUM) upped its stake by 11% during the most recent quarter. The Boston hedge fund now holds 6.6 million shares worth $824.7 million as of March 31. At 8.9% of the portfolio, QRVO is second among Klarman's stock picks after Liberty Global Class C (LBTYK), which accounts for more than 15% of the fund.
The latest moves follow the purchase of 861,278 shares, or a 16% increase, in Q4.
Baupost has owned a stake in Qorvo since the first quarter of 2017, and it has been a market-beater for most of that time. But shares entered a downtrend in the second half of 2021, and they have yet to find solid ground. Indeed, QRVO is off about 25% over the past six months, lagging the broader market by about 15 percentage points.
If nothing else, Klarman gave QRVO stock a vote of confidence with his latest purchases – and picked it up at a discount, to boot.
- Billionaire investor: Stephen Mandel (Lone Pine Capital)
- Stake value: $1.5 billion
- Percent of portfolio: 9.2%
Microsoft (MSFT, $274.58) routinely stands at No. 1 among analysts' top-ranked Dow Jones stocks, and it's easy to see why. The company's reinvention as an enterprise and cloud computing giant is generating outsized profit growth and – until very recently – the share-price outperformance that goes with it.
MSFT shares have collapsed along with pretty much every other mega-cap tech stock in 2022, and that prompted at least one billionaire investor to go bargain shopping.
Stephen Mandel, with an estimated net worth of $3.9 billion, first picked up MIcrosoft for his Lone Pine Capital hedge fund ($35.3 billion AUM) in the fourth quarter of 2013. That's proven to be a wise deployment of capital.
Microsoft has generated a total return (price appreciation plus dividends) of 760% since the beginning of 2014. The S&P 500's total return comes to 166% over the same period.
Picking up more MSFT when it's on sale would appear to be a no-brainer, and that's just what Mandel did. Lone Pine Capital increased its stake by 6% in Q1 to bring its total holdings up to 5 million shares worth $1.5 billion as of March 31.
At 9.2% of the portfolio, Microsoft is now tops among the Greenwich-based hedge fund's stock picks, up from 6.5%, or its sixth-largest holding, in the prior quarter.
Analysts, for their part, like MSFT as much as ever at its current depressed level. Indeed, the stock gets a rare consensus recommendation of Strong Buy, per S&P Global Market Intelligence.
5. Marathon Petroleum
- Billionaire investor: Paul Singer (Elliott Investment Management)
- Stake value: $946.1 million
- Percent of portfolio: 9.5%
Hedge fund legend Paul Singer, with an estimated net worth of $4.3 billion, apparently sees MPC as being among the oil and gas stocks with even more upside ahead.
Singer's Elliott Investment Management ($73.5 billion AUM) upped its stake in MPC by 4% in Q1. The West Palm Beach, Florida-based hedge fund held 11.1 million shares worth $946.1 million as of March 31. At 9.5% of the portfolio – up from 6% in Q4 – MPC is the fund's second largest holding after Howmet Aerospace (HWM).
Singer, who initiated his stake in the oil refiner and marketer in the second quarter of 2019, last touched the position in the first quarter of 2021, when he increased the holding by 9%, or 900,000 shares.
With more than 2% of MPC's shares outstanding, Elliott Investment Management is the energy company's sixth-largest stockholder. And it has certainly proven to be a good bet in 2022. MPC stock gained more than 60% for the year-to-date through June 1, vs. a decline of more than 13% in the S&P 500.
Analysts continue to like the name too, giving it a consensus recommendation of Buy, with high conviction.
- Billionaire investor: David Tepper (Appaloosa Management)
- Stake value: $277.1 million
- Percent of portfolio: 11.1%
Analysts, hedge funds and even Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett are big fans of Amazon.com (AMZN, $2,510.22). But few billionaires gave the e-commerce colossus as big a vote of confidence as David Tepper during the first quarter.
The Carolina Panthers owner didn't amass an estimated net worth of $16.7 billion by not recognizing a bargain. Shares in Amazon fell by more than 18% at one point in Q1, and it appears that Tepper went shopping while they were on sale.
Tepper's Appaloosa Management ($14.6 billion AUM) boosted its AMZN stake by 21%, or 15,000 shares. The Short Hills, New Jersey-based hedge fund now holds 85,000 shares worth $277.1 million as of March 31.
At 11.1% of the fund, AMZN is now Appaloosa's second-largest stock pick after Alphabet's Class C shares (GOOG). In Q4, Amazon.com shares accounted for 6% of the portfolio, or the fifth-largest holding.
Like Microsoft, Amazon has been hammered by the market's indiscriminate selling of mega-cap tech stocks – even as its growth prospects and valuation remain compelling.
Analysts give Amazon a rare consensus recommendation of Strong Buy, based in part on their forecast for average annual earnings per share growth of nearly 36% over the next three to five years. And as for the valuation? AMZN offers a discount of 15% to its own five-year average on a forward earnings basis, per data from Refinitiv Stock Reports Plus.
- Billionaire investor: Andrew Law (Caxton Associates)
- Stake value: $187 million
- Percent of portfolio: 15.2%
Bruce Kovner, with an estimated net worth of $6.2 billion, retired from the hedge fund he founded a decade ago. But Caxton Associates still benefits from its close association with his legendary name.
Meanwhile, Kovner's successor Andrew Law is hardly a pauper himself. His own net worth is estimated at around $1 billion, thanks to his major ownership stake in Caxton ($26.7 billion AUM).
The rich get richer in part by anticipating changes in macroeconomic conditions, which would help explain why Caxton Associates initiated a position in Freeport-McMoRan (FCX, $41.72) during the first quarter.
After all, commodities have always been one of investors' favorite ways to play inflation. When prices are rising at the fastest pace in four decades, adding exposure to a major metals miner like FCX just makes sense.
And make no mistake, Caxton went in on Freeport in a big way. The New York hedge fund purchased a total of 3.8 million shares in the miner, which were worth $187 million as of March 31. The move instantly made FCX the fund's largest holding, and by a good margin. Aptiv (APTV), which is Caxton's second-largest investment, accounts for 12.6% of its portfolio.
Much of the Street would applaud Caxton's choice. Analysts give FCX a consensus recommendation of Buy, albeit with modest conviction.
- Billionaire investor: Felix and Julian Baker (Baker Bros. Advisors)
- Stake value: $2.9 billion
- Percent of portfolio: 16.5%
Billionaire biotech investors Julian and Felix Baker might keep a low profile, but they're plenty famous in the biopharmaceutical sector. A series of successful investments have allowed them to amass a combined estimated fortune of nearly $5.6 billion.
The brothers, via their New York-based hedge fund Baker Bros. Advisors ($25.7 billion AUM), just gave investors in Incyte (INCY, $74.63) another reason to rejoice. Baker Bros. Advisors upped its stake in the biotech stock once again, this time by 7%, or 2.5 million shares, in Q1. That followed the purchase of 1.6 million shares, or a 4% increase in the stake, in Q4.
Incyte's lead drug, Jakafi, treats two types of rare blood cancer. Other marketed treatments include Olumiant for rheumatoid arthritis, as well as oncology drugs Iclusig for leukemia and Pemazyre for bile duct cancer.
INCY lost as much as 10% for the year-to-date at one point in Q1, but shares have since recovered nicely. Indeed, they're up about 2% so far in 2022, beating the broader market by roughly 14 percentage points.
It sure looks as if the Bakers were right to scoop up a beaten-down stock they believe in. And believe in it they do: At 16.5% of the portfolio, INCY is No. 2 among the hedge fund's stock picks.
1. Hertz Global Holdings
- Billionaire investor: Brian Higgins (King Street Capital Management)
- Stake value: $343.3 million
- Percent of portfolio: 32.1%
Car rental company Hertz Global Holdings (HTZ, $20.19) officially emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October, and Brian Higgins was there for it.
What should truly inspire the HTZ bulls, however, is that the co-founder of King Street Capital Management ($24.9 billion AUM) came back for even more Hertz stock in Q1.
Higgins initiated a stake of 13.1 million shares in the formerly debt-bloated firm at the end of last year. It was a typically opportunistic move for the hedge fund manager – the kind that has helped him amass an estimated net worth of $1.8 billion.
Unfortunately for King Street Capital's clients, the bet hasn't gone quite as planned, at least so far. Hertz is partly a pandemic recovery play. It might yet prove itself in that capacity. But with national average gas prices closing in on five bucks a gallon, the bull case has yet to prevail. HTZ stock, which lost more than 11% in Q1, has shed about a fifth of its value so far in 2022.
In for a penny, in for a pound.
Higgins added to the New York hedge fund's position in HTZ by 18%, or 2.4 million shares, during the first quarter. King Street Capital's total stake now stands at 15.5 million shares, worth $343.3 million as of March 31.
Hertz now accounts for nearly a third of the hedge fund's portfolio, so this stock pick appears to be something of a swing for the fences. Analysts, for their part, give the stock a consensus recommendation of Buy, albeit with modest conviction.