Bridgewater Associates is one of the most widely followed and most renowned hedge funds in the world. After all, it is also one of the financial giants, and it is run by Ray Dalio. The fund’s total assets were counted as roughly $160 billion at the end of 2014. What the total is now might not be known down to the closest billion dollar handle, but what is known is that Bridgewater’s public equity holdings were shown to be $12.831 billion at the end of March, versus $12.527 billion at the end of 2014.
24/7 Wall St. frequently reviews 13F-HR filings from some of the top fund managers. It turns out that Bridgewater and Dalio have made some changes since the end of 2014. While the so-called Whale Hunters love to track what big influential hedge funds are investing, the bulk of the $12.8 billion here is tied up in three exchange traded funds (ETFs) — two emerging market and one S&P 500.
The rest of the individual equity bets might look big to retail investors, but honestly they are so small that they might not be more than a rounding error at a firm like Bridgewater. These positions would even be considered small compared to most large equity funds.
Alcoa Inc. (NYSE: AA) was listed as a stake of 1,327,300 shares, worth $17.149 million at the end of March. This was a mere 116,700 shares, worth $1.843 million at the end of 2014.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) was listed as a stake of 732,997 shares, worth $91.207 million at the end of March, versus a stake of 259,497 shares, worth $28.643 million, at the end of 2014. Just keep in mind that the Apple stake ebbs and flows there at Bridgewater. It was some 535,897 shares at the end of September 2014.
CenterPoint Energy Inc. (NYSE: CNP) was almost eliminated — down to 28,670 shares, worth a mere $58,000, versus a stake at the end of 2015 of 453,278 shares, worth $10.62 million.
CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL) was a new stake of 305,677 shares, worth $10.561 million at the end of March.
Cerner Corp. (NASDAQ: CERN) nearly tripled in shares to 186,470, worth $13.661 million at the end of March, versus 50,970 shares, worth $3.296 million, at the end of 2014.
Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) was a new position of 503,980 shares, worth $13.872 million at the end of March.
Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) was a much larger stake of 577,774 shares, worth $23.429 million at the end of March, up from 40,076 shares, worth $1.772 million, at the end of 2014. That is well over 10 times the stake in one quarter, but still small for institutional ownership.
Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) was vastly lower at 25,221 shares, worth only $2.475 million at the end of March. That stake was 537,321 shares, worth some $50.648 million, at the end of 2014.
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) was a much larger stake at 268,093 shares, worth $26.97 million at the end of March. It was a mere 64,293 shares at the end of 2014.
Micron Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MU) was a stake that was more than doubled to 814,974 shares, worth $22.11 million at the end of March, versus 367,874 shares, worth $12.879 million, at the end of 2014.
Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) was a stake that was almost eliminated — down to 100,045 shares, worth $4.067 million, from $601,045 shares, worth $27.919 million, at the end of 2014.
Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. (NYSE: POT) more than doubled to 1,219,100 shares, worth $39.312 million at the end of March. Tt the end of 2014, this had been 601,600 shares, worth $21.33 million.
In terms of the ETFs: iShares MSCI Emerging Markets (NYSEMKT: EEM) was a huge portion of the public equity portfolio at 76,743,491 shares, worth $3.08 billion at the end of March. That stake was 78.536 million shares at the end of 2014, so not much change. The Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF (NYSEMKT: VWO) was 111,999,698 shares, worth $4.577 billion at the end of March, down from 116,213,008 shares, worth $4.65 billion, at the end of 2014. The SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEMKT: SPY) was also a huge part of the equity holdings at 16,408,500 shares, worth $3.387 billion in March, but the stake was similar at 15.39 million, worth $3.156 billion, at the end of 2014.
Again, these may seem like big changes on the surface, but they are just not monumental in the grand scheme of things for Bridgewater, nor when compared to other key hedge funds.