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If you have followed me at all over the years, you know I pay pretty close attention to the quarterly filings of leading hedge fund managers and institutional investors.
Back in the Stone Age when I began doing this, we didn't get immediate access to the filings. You had to write into the SEC and have them mailed.
Eventually, Henry Emerson, the publisher of the Outstanding Investor Digest, began producing a report each quarter that would come a few weeks after the filings deadline, so we all signed up for it.
Knowing what the very best and brightest of America's investors were buying and selling was a substantial informational advantage back then.
Of course, the advantage that comes from tracking these leading investors is gone now. The filings are live online seconds after being received at the SEC, and some paid sites have the analysis up in minutes. At worst case, the Nasdaq site has all the info up within 24 hours.
The advantage of having information no one else does, like so many stock market advantages, has been eliminated by the widespread availability of information.
Rather than providing an advantage, this widespread availability of information leads to crowded trades.