Quarter after quarter we would recap the hedge fund world's infatuation with one stock and one stock alone: Apple. This inverse-mormon love affair hit its peak in the quarter ended September 30, when a record number of hedge funds were invested in AAPL stock. This was also the quarter when AAPL hit its all time high price and has since proceeded to slump by nearly 40% in four short months. Which was to be expected: hedge fund hotels always become flaming death traps when the sucker rally finally ends and what so many mistook and goalseeked for fundamentals, ended up being merely euphoria and momentum chasing as one after another marginal buyer put their money into a stock that seemingly could do no wrong or so we were told day after day. As of December 31, AAPL is no longer the darling of hedge fund groupthink. In its place we have a new hedge fund hotel.
Presenting: AIG, which with 80 hedge funds reporting it as a Top 10 holding (compared to GOOG with 73, and AAPL with 67), is now the stock that has suckered in the most hedge fund capital, and where any future growth will depend solely on pulling incremental dumb money in.
As a reminder: just as every most widely held name rises ever higher as the Beta chasers pretend they generate Alpha, while merely piling into one or several names, so once hotel, in this case cAIGfornia, starts burning down, the scramble for the exits is fast and furious.
The chart below shows AAPL's recent gradual rise and epic fall. AIG is now in the rising phase. The fall always follows.
Finally, it would be especially poetic if the one company that was there at the end of the beginning, and nearly brought down the financial system 5 years ago is responsible for the beginning of the end, and whose collapse the second time around completes what its first, bailed-out attempt, couldn't.