It might seem like it at times, but investing is not a solitary activity. The market is a dynamic living entity driven by traders buying and selling assets either as individuals or as institutions. Knowing what other traders think of a stock can help you find undervalued companies before they become too expensive or let you know when to sell and take profits before the stock begins to fall.
One way to know what other traders think of a stock is to follow mutual fund stock picks. These large managed products have significant sway over a stock’s price through the volume of shares purchased and sold. Hopping aboard a stock that’s popular with fund mangers can be a good way to game the system, although investors shouldn’t ignore due diligence when making investment decisions.
Mutual Fund Mainstays
Popular stocks owned by mutual funds can change over time as the economy transitions through different growth phases. Large-cap stocks tend to be the most common, although some mid-cap and even small-cap stocks can become popular with institutional buyers.
Interestingly, Indian companies are some of the most common stocks held by mutual funds right now. A decade ago, China was the biggest foreign market for fund ownership but as India’s economic growth outpaces China’s, more mutual funds are looking to the new emerging market.
Here we list some of the most common stocks found in equity mutual fund portfolios:
- Alphabet (GOOG) – Google’s parent company dominates our list as the most popular stock owned by mutual funds.
- Amazon (AMZN) – As one of the FANG stocks, Amazon is ubiquitous in the mutual fund industry.
- Facebook (FB) – Most equity funds own at least some of Facebook’s stock.
- Netflix (NFLX) – Rounding out the FANG stocks with Netflix, this stock is becoming more common in the mutual fund industry.
- HDFC Bank (HDB) – 8 out of 10 of the most popular equity mutual funds list this Indian bank among their top holdings.
- Tata Motors (TTM)
- JP Morgan Chase (JPM)
- MasterCard (MA)
- Gilead Sciences (GILD)
- Actavis (ACT)
An analysis by Goldman Sachs of the most popular stocks held by a selection of more than 700 mutual funds revealed these stocks as the most common. How the market performs from this point on will determine if any of these stocks fall out of favor and what stocks will replace them.
As the summer kicks off for 2016, investors have a lot to think over with the Fed playing an active role in the economy’s direction once again. If interest rates are hiked in June as the Fed mentioned was a possibility last month, mutual funds will scramble to make adjustments and investors could see a spike in volatility. Even if no change in rates is made, uncertainty in the markets is climbing and mutual funds will decide what stocks stay in favor and which don’t.