AlphaClone, a web site that tracks investments made by prominent hedge funds and money managers, launched today to give other investors the insight they need to make good decisions of their own. Armed with the information found on the site, users should be able to virtually replicate the holdings of more than 230 high-profile funds — and then track their performance against a retinue of indexes and simulations.
For example, as a user, you can see that Warren Buffet’s 10 largest holdings have beaten the market by 10 percent on average every year since 2000. But AlphaClone doesn’t just track individuals. You can just as easily ask it to look up the most popular holdings from 20 funds managed by former members of now-closed Tiger Management and see that they have beaten the market by 12 percent every year since 2000, the company says.
Once you have a virtual “clone” of one of these portfolios (and the site already has more than 15,000 pre-made to choose from), you can backtest them to understand their historical patterns and watch how they perform going forward through daily updates. The same goes for customized portfolios of your own design. They are even rebalanced automatically at the end of every quarter when new filings are added to the system. The site charges a $99 monthly subscription fee to join, and the company says it should be intuitive enough for easy use by even casual individual investors.
AlphaClone is the latest in a long line of web-based smart investment tools, which also includes market-alert application Zignals, and social-investing sites Zecco, Marketocracy and Wikinvest. Perhaps the most similar is Covestor, a site that also lets you tap into buys and strategies devised by Wall Street’s trading elite.
With its simple interface and unique simulation-based spin, AlphaClone could prove to be an awfully handy (and popular) tool considering the shaky state of the economy — assuming the steep fee doesn’t scare cost-cutting users away. Founded by longtime investor Mazin Jadallah and money manager Mebane Faber, the site’s own funding history hasn’t been disclosed.