UBS: These 10 'crowded' stocks are especially vulnerable to a sharp sell-off

Brendan McDermid/Reuters
  • Fund managers have been flocking to a handful of large-cap stocks, leaving themselves vulnerable to a mass exodus and sharp selling, should any of the companies disappoint.
  • A Monday UBS note details the 10 most “overweight” stocks in active funds around the world. The term describes stocks held in portfolios at a greater proportion than their relevant benchmark, the analysts wrote.
  • Four of the 10 companies were tech firms, but healthcare and credit card companies were also popular picks.
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Fund managers have been sinking cash into a small set of large-cap stocks, leaving themselves vulnerable to a mass exodus and sharp selling in the event something goes awry.

A stock is deemed “overweight” in a portfolio when it represents a higher proportion of a fund manager’s holdings compared to its relevant benchmark, UBS analysts wrote in a Monday note.

The bank highlighted 10 stocks with the highest active weight among actively-managed funds around the world. Credit card providers and healthcare companies were each represented by two companies, but tech firms were the most popular among the group.

Here are the 10 most crowded trades among active fund managers around the world, ranked in increasing order of active weight:



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10. UnitedHealth Group

Active weight: 0.11%

Market cap: $US217 billion

Year-to-date performance: down 8%


9. Medtronic

Active weight: 0.12%

Market cap: $US149 billion

Year-to-date performance: up 22%


8. Comcast

Active weight: 0.15%

Market cap: $US210 billion

Year-to-date performance: up 36%


7. Alibaba

Active weight: 0.16%

Market cap: $US462 billion

Year-to-date performance: up 29%


6. Mastercard

Active weight: 0.17%

Market cap: $US273 billion

Year-to-date performance: up 44%


5. Microsoft

Active weight: 0.17%

Market cap: $US1.06 trillion

Year-to-date performance: up 37%


4. Alphabet (Class A)

Active weight: 0.17%

Market cap: $US371 billion

Year-to-date performance: up 18%


3. Adobe

Active weight: 0.18%

Market cap: $US134 billion

Year-to-date performance: up 22%


2. Alphabet (Class C)

Active weight: 0.19%

Market cap: $US430 billion

Year-to-date performance: up 19%


1. Visa

Active weight: 0.31%

Market cap: $US302 billion

Year-to-date performance: up 37%

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