FORTUNE -- There are a million ways to try to beat the market, and the one iBillionaire has chosen is as good as any, I suppose.
What started as an iOS app (iBillionaire) and website (iBillionaire.me) morphed at the end of October into an exchange-traded fund (ETF) that offers investors a portfolio of 30 stocks selected to mirror the investment strategies of 21 billionaire investors -- people like Warren Buffett, George Soros and Carl Icahn.
Here's the iBillionaire pitch:
"We analyze more than 250 billion dollars in assets held and managed by a pool of over 20 billionaires. Each quarter, we look at roughly 1,500 investments, 93% in equities and 7% belonging to other asset classes. Our software has processed over a decade of SEC filings to ensure that the iBillionaire Index is a diversified portfolio of high-quality companies. "
The goal is simple: Beat the S&P 500.
And how's that working?
So far so good. Since Oct. 31, the iBillionaire fund is up 7.3% compared with 4.8% for the S&P 500. The catch, I suppose, is that when events unfold quickly iBillionaire will always be a beat behind the real billionaires.
Below: The top 10 stocks in the index and their relative share in the S&P 500.
Note that in both cases, Apple (AAPL) is the No. 1 security, although it is weighted more than three times as heavily in the iBillionaire fund than in the broader index.
He writes in an open letter to Apple shareholders that he sees "no reason to persist."
FORTUNE -- On Monday, four and a half months after Carl Icahn tweeted that he had "pushed hard" for Apple (AAPL) CEO Tim Cook to use his company's entire cash holdings to buy its own "extremely underpriced" shares, Wall Street's most feared and admired corporate-raider-turned-activist-investor backed down.
Icahn's announcement, made in an open letter to Apple MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Feb 10, 2014 10:06 AM ET
Words to remember in advance of the Feb. 28 vote on Carl Icahn's shareholder proposal.
FORTUNE -- It's not exactly on point, but reading Ben Popper's piece on Carl Icahn in the Verge this weekend brought to mind a Steve Jobs Q&A from May 1997 -- a few months after his return to Apple (AAPL) -- when someone asked: "Steve, what do we do about the press?"
Jobs spoke for nearly two minutes before he MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Feb 9, 2014 3:55 PM ET
While the Street was dumping Apple, Cook -- and Carl Icahn -- were snapping up shares.
FORTUNE -- Tim Cook's interview in Friday's Wall Street Journal puts the attached Apple (AAPL) stock chart in a new light.
What looked to human day traders and computer algorithms on Jan. 27 like a signal to sell, Cook saw as a buying opportunity.
He was surprised, he told the Journal, that Apple's share price fell 8% after the MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Feb 7, 2014 7:56 AM ET
He buys, he tweets, he cajoles, and the hearts of Apple traders skip a beat.
FORTUNE -- Three tweets so far today from Carl Icahn about Apple (AAPL):
10:50 am: Since tweeting about our large position in $AAPL on Aug 13, when the stock was 468 per share, we've kept buying shares of this 'no brainer.'
10:50 am: Having purchased $500 million more $AAPL shares in the last two weeks, our investment has crossed the MORE
In Friday's proxy statement, Apple ignored Icahn and spoke directly to its serious investors.
FORTUNE -- We don't know what Apple's (AAPL) CEO said to Wall Street's favorite activist investor at their "meet and tweet" dinner last September -- the one where Carl Icahn says he "pushed hard for a 150 billion buyback."
But on Friday we got the company's official response -- one that was approved, if not drafted, by Tim MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Dec 28, 2013 11:16 AM ET
Talk is cheap.
FORTUNE -- All the noise over what Apple ought to do with its cash almost makes one wistful for the days when everyone obsessed only over Apple's products.
Time coverboy Carl Icahn is on Apple's (AAPL) case to give back more of its cash to shareholders -- like himself. It's a perfectly reasonable position to take. Apple's hoard had grown to the nine figures with no reasonable prospects for MOREAdam Lashinsky, Sr. Editor at Large - Dec 5, 2013 9:22 AM ET
He cut his buyback demand from $150 billion to $50 billion and gave Apple a year to do it.
FORTUNE -- From the headlines, you would think that Carl Icahn, America's most famous corporate raider, had donned a headdress and gone into his war dance:
Icahn beats Apple buyback drum (again) with new proposal (CNET)
Carl Icahn Rallies Apple Shareholders To Demand Stock Buyback (Cult of Mac)
Carl Icahn ups ante in crusade for Apple buyback (Associated Press)
Icahn's $2 billion stake amounts to half of 1% of Apple's outstanding shares.
FORTUNE --Reuters and Bloomberg made a big deal last week about the fact that Carl Icahn had increased his investment in Apple (AAPL)
from 3.8 million shares (worth $1.8 billion)
to 4.7 million shares (worth $2.4 billion).
Why this was considered news, given that Icahn disclosed it three weeks ago, was not clear from their reports.
Their reports also failed to put those MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 17, 2013 8:29 AM ET
If you go by the published targets of one out of three analysts, Apple is overpriced.
FORTUNE --Some of the Apple (AAPL) analysts' 12-month price targets in the attached spreadsheet may be out of date. Many were set last spring, and if they've been updated since then, I didn't get the memo.
But several of these targets were just reiterated or reset earlier this week.
Scott Craig, for example, raised Merrill Lynch's target from $520 MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Oct 24, 2013 4:08 PM ET
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