Ken Fisher Portfolio Revealed: His Top Stock Holdings

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Jacob Wolinsky
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Ken Fisher is one of the best-known names in the investment industry. He founded the company Fisher Investments in 1979 and wrote 11 books on investment topics. He served as the CEO of Fisher Investments until 2016 when he stepped down to the position of executive chairman. He built up a company that currently manages $212 billion, and Ken Fisher’s current portfolio consists of over 1,100 holdings.

The biggest five holdings in this major portfolio come from the “Magnificent 7 stocks”, with Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, and Nvidia. Recent major buys include Exxon Mobil Corp (NYSE:XOM) and Coca-Cola Co (NYSE:KO).

Ken Fisher was often criticized for the lack of transparency in his fund operations and often inconsistent fund performance. But, his overall impact on the investment world cannot be disregarded. His development and implementation of a revolutionary analytic tool for calculating the price-to-sale ratio for identifying undervalued stocks have been a game changer.

Ken Fisher Portfolio Performance

Top Holdings in Ken Fisher’s Portfolio

  • Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ:MSFT) with 5% of the portfolio

Fisher Investment is the biggest stakeholder in Microsoft after Bill Gates. They own 25.4 million shares valued at $10.6 billion. In Q1 2023 they sold 4.17 million shares at $255, and later in the year bought an additional 1.5 million shares at $313, $330, and $355. Fisher invested a total of $2.75 billion resulting in a gain of 285%.

  • Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) with 4.84% of the portfolio

Apple has been a regular in Fisher’s portfolio since 2013 and they just love to trade their stocks. Now they own 54.9 million shares valued at $10.3 billion. Fisher has been busy trading Apple stocks in 2023 selling a total of 8 million stocks at $147, and then buying almost 3 million new stocks at $174, $183, and $184. Trades of Apple stocks brought gains of 261%.

  • Amazon Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN) with 3.43% of the portfolio

Ken Fisher is the biggest stake owner of Amazon stocks owning a total of 42.2 million stocks. In the last two years, he has been increasing this position, and he conducted only one massive sale in Q1 2023. He sold a total of 10.5 million stocks at almost the lowest value in the last three years – $96. He then bought roughly 2 million stocks at prices between $114 and $140. Fisher’s Amazon holding is valued at $7.28, and it resulted in a gain of 218%.

  • Alphabet Inc Class A (NASDAQ:GOOGL) with 3.14% of the portfolio

Fisher Investments currently owns 45.2 million shares valued at $6.67 billion. Since 2021 they have been piling up Alphabet stocks, buying more than 12 million. They sold only once since 2021 in Q4 2022, when they sold 800 thousand shares for a low price of $95. Since then the price continued to rise to current $147.This holding has brought a gain of 117% so far.

  • Nvidia Corp (NASDAQ:NVDA) with 3.04% of the portfolio

Nvidia has been a major part of Fisher’s portfolio since 2016. He currently owns 8.94 million stocks with a value of $6.46 billion. He is the second biggest owner of Nvidia stocks. In 2023 he sold their stocks on three occasions for $216, $332, and $448, trimming the holding for 1.7 million shares. At the end of the year, he bought an additional 594 thousand stocks for $463.

Historical Performance of Ken Fisher’s Portfolio

Fisher Investments flagship fund, Fisher’s Purisima Global achieved almost identical returns when compared to IA Global Sector where the fund is classified. Since its launch in 2002, it has generated a return of 332%, while the IA Global Sector average is 316%.

Also, an important matter to take into consideration is the fees. When we compare the fees of the biggest Fisher’s competitors they have an annual charge of 0.68%. Fisher’s flagship fund on the other hand charges 1.5% annually, which can take a solid chunk of your profits.

In the first half of 2023, Fisher Purisima Global delivered 13% returns, when compared to the IA Global Sector average of 6.54%.

When we take the data regarding the United States they are as follows. Between 2011 and 2023 IA North America sector average was a return of 332%, while the average returns of CT United States equity income funds were 400%. In the same time frame, Purisima Global delivered 229% returns.

We can also take available data dating back to mid-2013 and compare the performance of Fisher Investments between 2013 and 2023 with S&P 500 and average hedge fund returns. From the available data, we can see that in the period between 2013 and 2018, Fisher Investments delivered a gain of 124%, overperforming the S&P 500 which produced a gain of 91%, and the average hedge fund with a gain of 4.3%.

From 2018 the performance rating of Fisher Investments plummeted to -79% gain. In the last three years average annualized returns are -7.48%.

Sector Allocation & Diversification

The majority of Fisher’s holdings are in the technology sector, which can be seen from the top holdings breakdown. Their current sector allocation in detail is:

  1. Technology with 38.8% of the portfolio valued at $82.3 billion
  2. Consumer Discretionary with 12.1% of the portfolio valued at $25.8 billion
  3. Finance with 11.4% of the portfolio valued at $24.2 billion
  4. Healthcare with 8.6% of the portfolio valued at $18.3 billion
  5. Industrials with 8% of the portfolio valued at $16.9 billion
  6. Consumer Staples with 4.2% of the portfolio valued at $8.9 billion
  7. Energy with 3.6% of the portfolio valued at $7.65 billion
  8. Materials with 2.5% of the portfolio valued at $5.28 billion
  9. Companies that have operations in different sectors with 10.4% of the portfolio are valued at $22.2 billion.

Fisher Investment operates on a global scale with the aim of diversification over different markets. In mid-2023 they were mostly focused on the United States (75%), followed by France (5%), Netherlands (3.7%), and the United Kingdom (3.04%).

They follow the 70/20/10 model where 70% of the investments are reserved for stocks, 20% for bonds, and 10% for cash and other assets. They further diversify their investment by implementing different strategies, including value, growth, and income investing styles.

Ken Fisher’s Investment Philosophy & Strategy

Investment Philosophy

The first pillar of Ken Fisher’s investment philosophy is the belief in capitalism and the free market. He is sure that the market is efficient and that the only determining factor of security price is supply and demand.

His approach to investing is based on finding information that is not widely known, or reflected in the price of the security. In reality, this means that Fisher is looking for undervalued companies with the chance of growth. Then he waits out the market to identify the real value of the company based on its fundamentals.

With the help of his experienced team of analysts and his price-to-sales ratio tool, he is always searching for companies that are undervalued by the market.

Fisher disregards the impact on the public when choosing the companies to invest in. He prefers to make his choices without any outside input, making a case for a contrarian approach. Also, he thinks that factors like inflation, debt, and GDP don’t impact investing decisions on a scale that is publicly presented.

Risk Assessment and Asset Management

One of the biggest risks for Fisher’s investments comes from an illusion of diversification. With most of the investments being held in the United States, and in the Tech sector, a downturn in those industries and economies can result in a major loss for the fund.

Another issue is a lack of investments in funds that are specialized for specific markets. That would offer further diversification and lower the investment risk.

 

Tips for Investors from Ken Fisher’s Investment Style

  • Do not try to predict or beat the market. That will make you do stupid things that will end up with buying at high prices and selling at low points
  • Temperament is more important than smarts or high education. Train your mind to be patient, because you will not be able to defeat the market.
  • Figure out what you are trying to achieve with your investment. If your mind wanders, and you often change your goals, you will most likely lose much of your investment. The goal is to focus on the predetermined and thought-out goals.
  • Focus on your goals and do not pay attention to public opinion. Everybody has an opinion, but almost none of those opinions can impact in a major way the condition of the market.
  • If you are a beginner investor, focus on investing in passive sources. This includes ETFs, or mutual funds that follow the S&P 500 index.
  • Before you start investing, find the most influential investment books. Read at least 20 of them, to understand what you are moving into. From those books, you will learn not only the basics of investments but also how to behave yourself in the market.

Take A Look At Fisher Investments’ Founder, Ken Fisher, Provides Investing Tips for New Investors:

FAQs

What Is the Average Return for Fisher Investments?

The average return for Fisher Investments since the last 13F filing is 6.34%.

Is Fisher Investments Any Good?

Investing with Fisher Investments comes with its unique sets of risks.

  • A relatively high fee when compared to the competition. Their annual fees go up to 1.5%. As you increase the investment the fee will go down.
  • To invest in Fisher’s funds you must start with at least $500,000 which is a dream for most investors. Even if you do have this capital, you may end up with the majority of your portfolio locked up with one company.
  • Fisher Investments is known for its aggressive marketing strategy. They invest about 6% of the revenue in marketing, which is significantly higher when compared to competition.
  • Transparency is not a priority to Fisher’s managers. They do not compare their performance with the indexes, and often offer very limited data to their stakeholders.
  • The performance of Fisher’s funds can vary. Sometimes they offer decent returns, but recently they have underperformed when compared to the other funds and major indexes.
  • Recently returns on their investments are lower when compared to other major funds.

When we consider all these factors, we cannot recommend investing in Fisher Investments. Other, maybe presently better options, are also Robo-advisors, or hiring a financial advisor.

Conclusion

Ken Fisher is one of the crucial names in the investment industry. He is also known for his books, interviews, and podcasts where he is ready to share his knowledge and experience with younger and less-experienced investors.

But, since he stepped down from the CEO position of Fisher Investments, there has been a drop in returns. When we combine that factor with relatively high minimum investment, and high fees, investing with Fisher Investments is no longer an obvious choice.

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Jacob Wolinsky is the founder of HedgeFundAlpha (formerly ValueWalk Premium), a popular value investing and hedge fund focused intelligence service. Prior to founding the company, Jacob worked as an equity analyst focused on small caps. Jacob lives with his wife and five kids in Passaic NJ. - Email: jacob(at)hedgefundalpha.com FD: I do not purchase any equities to avoid conflict of interest and any insider information. I only purchase broad-based ETFs and mutual funds.