Kenneth Fisher is the founder of Fisher Asset Management LLC. However, he left the CEO position in July 2016. Now, Damian Ornani has been serving the CEO of the company. He has been associated with Fisher Asset for a long-time. In Q2 2019, the Fisher Asset had an AUM (assets under management) of $90.4 billion.
But, based on a CNBC report, four pension funds have pulled out. It could lower Fisher’s AUM by $1.2 billion. Also, the pension fund ending their contract might be on account of Kenneth Fisher’s controversial remarks. Kenneth Fisher is the executive chairman of Fisher Asset Management.
In a statement, Kenneth said, “Some of the words and phrases I used during a recent conference to make certain points were clearly wrong and I shouldn’t have made them,” Further, he said, “I realize this kind of language has no place in our company or industry. I sincerely apologize.”
Fisher Asset Management
If we’ll analyze the portfolio of Fisher Asset Management, we’ll notice that the firm has a strong investment in the financial sector in Q2 2019. Additionally, the financial sector makes up 32.89% of the total portfolio. This investment theme is similar to Berkshire Hathaway. Financial stocks make up around 47.4% of Berkshire’s portfolio.
The technology sector represents about 19.22% of the firm’s portfolio. And, the financial and information technology sector generally performs well when the economic activity picks up. Also, Microsoft (MSFT) and Apple (AAPL) are Fisher’s top holdings in the information technology sector. These are consumer cyclical stocks.
The strong investment in these two sectors in Q2 2019 suggests that the firm has strong confidence in the economic upturn. The Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF tracks the performance of the US financial sector. As of October 18, it’s risen 18% on a year-to-date basis.
The Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) tracks the performance of the technology sector. XLK rose 30.5% during the same period. XLK outperformed the broader market S&P 500 Index by 11.4%.
Fisher Asset’s top holdings in Q2 2019 were Visa, Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, and the iShares iBoxx $ Investment Grade Corp Bond ETF. These holdings represent around 3.8%, 3.6%, 3.1%, 3%, and 2.8% of the firm’s portfolio, respectively. Also, the firm holds nearly 19.7 million shares of Visa whose market value is $3.43 billion at the time of filing reports. Fisher Asset Management is in the top ten institutional holders of Visa Inc. (V).
Similarly, the firm holds nearly 1.7 million shares of Amazon (AMZN) whose market value is $3.26 billion. The hedge fund has been long-term bullish on Amazon. Also, the fund has had a stake in Amazon since 2011.
Fisher bought shares of the iShares MSCI Europe Financials ETF, the iShares Global Energy ETF, the Vanguard Interm-Term Corp Bd ETF, Microsoft (MSFT), and Visa in Q2 2019. And, after adding some shares of Microsoft to its existing holdings in Q2, the firm holds around 20.8 million shares. Additionally, the market value of this stake is around $2.78 billion.
Fisher’s top sells
TOTAL S.A. (TOT) was among the top sells of the Fisher Asset in Q2 2019. The current bearishness in oil prices might be the reason. Moreover, oil prices might not see a pullback, at least for the first two quarters of 2020. Still, the fund has invested around 6.9% of its total corpus in the energy sector.
The other top sells of this fund include ING Groep, Taiwan Semiconductor, and Intesa Sanpaolo. Also, Fisher investments lowered its holdings in these stocks by around 0.2%, 0.19%, and 0.18% in the same quarter.