(By Street Authority) It's so important to learn from the nation's top investors. You don't need to tell that to the thousands that flock to Omaha, Nebraska once a year to glean fresh wisdom from Warren Buffett. Many others follow the actions of George Soros, Carl Icahn or others. These top investors have proven track records, and simply mimicking their performance can make you wealthy.
One of my favorites: David Tepper from Appaloosa Management. Here's a guy that put himself through college and eventually became one of the titans of hedge fund investing. He's been so successful that the Carnegie Mellon School of Business in Pittsburgh, Penn., where he got his MBA, is now the Tepper School of Business.
I started following Tepper in 2008 and 2009 when he was loading up on stocks even as others were fleeing. That kind of temerity -- buying when others are selling-- is the only way to beat the market. The net result: Tepper's picks are up 185% during the past five years, compared with a 12% gain for the S&P 500, according to Gurufocus.com.
Fast-forward to 2012, and Tepper is again getting aggressive on the very stocks that many are shunning. This time, he's focusing on three sectors, spreading his bets around on several stocks in each. None of his stock picks are poised for great results in 2012. Yet that's the point. Tepper knows that the best long-term investments may hold little current appeal.
So where's he buying now?
If you receive alerts for my $100,000 Real-Money Portfolio, you already know that I'm a huge fan of Ford Motor (NYSE: F), which is one of my largest holdings. The stock remains under pressure because of the woes in Europe and other foreign markets, but Ford's profits should rise smartly when the gloom recedes. The same could be said for GM (NYSE: GM). It's also very inexpensively priced in the context of where profits will be in a better global economic environment.
Tepper apparently had a hard time figuring out which auto maker to buy, so he bought both of them. He bought roughly $80 million in Ford's stock and another $55 million in GM in the first quarter.