After 25 Years, Fidelity Shakes Things Up

“Learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

While it is true that we spend alot of time and energy of late exploring certain deep-in-the-weeds aspects of the trading world, if you think that we are only interested in providing intelligence about that neck of the woods then you may have lost the plot here.

What is going on deep in those weeds has impacts on what appears to be the wide open spaces (where many traditional and less automated strategy managers operate). But, it also turns out, the traditional segment of the ecosystem has an impact on the cutting-edged segment, too. It’s all a feedback loop – and this teaser is intended to provide a taste of ballast for the players that operate in that different, more traditional, region of our asset management ecosystem map.

Fidelity is one of the largest asset managers in the world based on a long track record of success. From the vantage point of their 13F filings – all 100 quarters of them – Fidelity truly is a fundamentalist, buy-and-hold, stock picker’s shop.

Now, there are many fascinating aspects of the Fidelity modeling that we developed recently – such as the evidence that there may not be as much stock picking going on of late. But, the finding we want to share in this post is the unprecedented shift in position count just as of the last few months.

After a nearly 25-year track record wherein total 13F position counts – though somewhat volatile at times – have remained tethered around the 6,000 mark on average, the last 2 13F reports have disclosed an unprecedented spike in position count to over 10,000. See exhibit below.

And, though we might want to look for evidence that this spike is isolated – perhaps by adding a new entity with lots of positions into the mix or due to a dramatic increase in a product class positioning, like ETFs – it appears that this increase in positions is distributed across a few product classes (as in the exhibit, below) as well as a few separate entities (the evidence for which we will share down the road).

What is causing this shift?

Is it somehow related to the launch of no-fee funds?

Whatever is driving such an unprecedented shake up of positioning, it is likely to harbor some evidence for the sizeable drivers that are impacting the world of asset management. Alphacution will be back with another installment of this story – and some answers – very soon.

Watch this space…

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By | 2019-05-29T14:04:00-04:00 May 2nd, 2019|Alphacution Feed|

About the Author:

Paul Rowady is the Director of Research for Alphacution Research Conservatory, a research and strategic advisory platform uniquely focused on modeling and benchmarking the impacts of technology on global financial markets and the businesses of trading, asset management and banking. He is a 30-year veteran of the proprietary, quantitative and derivatives trading arenas. Contact:; Follow: @alphacution.