10 Top Stock Picks of America's Largest Pension Funds

One of the simplest things that everyday investors can do to improve their performance over the long haul is to study the best practices and investments of the world's top investors.

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One of the simplest things that everyday investors can do to improve their performance over the long haul is to study the best practices and investments of the world's top investors. And while that typically invokes names such as Warren Buffett and Carl Icahn, don't forget the money managers overseeing billions of dollars at mammoth pension funds.

Understanding the secrets of large-scale investors can put you miles ahead of those people who simply wing it without first coming up with a long-term plan. One way investors can shortcut the process is to follow the top stocks of these top investors. Indeed, following the moves of Warren Buffett has become a quarterly ritual.

But while following the stock picks of big-name investors such as Buffett, Bill Ackman and Carl Icahn is an excellent way to hone your skills, another place many people fail to consider is pension funds.

Even the largest pension funds might not have the same recognition as Buffett or Icahn. Nonetheless, CalPERS and the New York State Common Retirement Fund manage billions of dollars for the public state and local employees of California and New York. They and other pension funds have a fiduciary duty to current and former employees who are saving for retirement.

As a result, it pays to follow pension funds' highest-conviction stock picks, too. Many of these funds have high concentrations in several of the same stocks, so just note that if a stock is a major holding in one fund, chances are it holds significant sway across numerous pension systems on this list.

Data is as of Nov. 24. Stocks listed in reverse order of their holding rank within the featured pension fund. Stock rankings within each portfolio are as of Sept. 30, 2019. Pension system/plan rankings courtesy of Pensions & Investments’ most recent rankings, published Feb. 4, 2019, based on assets as of Sept. 30, 2018.

Will Ashworth
Contributing Writer, Kiplinger.com

Will has written professionally for investment and finance publications in both the U.S. and Canada since 2004. A native of Toronto, Canada, his sole objective is to help people become better and more informed investors. Fascinated by how companies make money, he's a keen student of business history. Married and now living in Halifax, Nova Scotia, he's also got an interest in equity and debt crowdfunding.