Tracking the habits of rich and successful investors like Warren Buffett is typically a good idea because they clearly know how to make a lot of money in the markets.
But Buffett isn't the only successful billionaire investor. Dozens of billion-dollar hedge fund managers and other extremely wealthy investors also know how to pick winning stocks.
Fortunately for the retail investor, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) requires that such heavy hitters file a report on their long positions every quarter.
While the reports (called a Form 13F) lag the actual holdings of the billionaire investors and hedge funds, they serve as a useful window into the thinking of the country's most highly rewarded investors.
Several Websites track the Form 13F filings and look for patterns that retail investors can use.
One such site, Insider Monkey, tracks the 13F filings from 400 top hedge funds and billionaire investors.
In addition to Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK.A, BRK.B), Insider Monkey tracks such well-known hedge fund managers as Carl Icahn (Icahn Capital Lp), David Einhorn (Greenlight Capital), John Paulson (Paulson & Co.), and George Soros (Soros Fund Management).
Although hedge funds have had a difficult year overall, the stocks they buy and hold have generally outperformed the market, the site notes.
Earlier this year Insider Monkey filtered out the 30 most popular stocks among these high-octane investors, to create what it calls the Billionaire Hedge Fund Index. That index is up 25.3% for the year, besting the 18% gain of the Standard & Poor's 500 Index.
Let's take a look at these winning top stock picks.