The world’s wealthiest family just revealed these telltale risk-off stock moves

Walton family members (L to R) Rob, Alice and Jim Walton leave the stage after presenting an award at the Wal-Mart annual meeting in Fayetteville, Arkansas, June 5, 2015. Wal-Mart Stores Inc named Vice Chairman Greg Penner as its new chairman on Friday, replacing his father-in-law Rob Walton and cementing the founding family's influence over the board of the world's largest retailer.
Walton family members, from left to right, Rob, Alice, and Jim. REUTERS/Rick Wilking
  • The investment firm for the world’s wealthiest family just revealed more exposure to short-term Treasury funds.
  • The Walton Investment Team also decreased its exposure to emerging-market stocks. 
  • The Walton family’s fortune stood at about $US238 ($AU323) billion earlier this year, half of which is due to Walmart. 
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The investment firm for the world’s wealthiest family just revealed traditionally risk-off stock moves, including more exposure to short-term Treasury funds and less exposure to emerging-market stocks. 

The Walton Investment Team, or WIT, held around $US5 ($AU7) billion in stocks and exchange-traded funds at the end of the third quarter, most of which was invested in low-cost ETFs, Bloomberg reported Monday, citing regulatory filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

WIT, which manages a portfolio for the family behind retail giant Walmart, increased its stake in the Vanguard Short-Term Treasury ETF by adding 9.66 million shares. The position amounts to $US1.36 ($AU2) billion, up from $US593.1 ($AU806) million.

The firm also shored up its investments in the iShares Short-Term National Muni Bond ETF. 

Meanwhile, WIT decreased its exposure to the Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets fund by nearly 5 million shares, which now amounts to just $US1.8 ($AU2) billion. 

The Walton family’s fortune stood at about $US238 ($AU323) billion earlier this year, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, half of which is due to Walmart.

Sam Walton founded Walmart in 1950, and his descendants were previously very low-key about their enormous wealth. But that has become increasingly difficult since the SEC requires those managing more than $US100 ($AU136) million in stocks to disclose holdings, Bloomberg reported.

WIT was launched in 2020 and is an “affiliate” of the main office that manages the Walton family fortune, a representative told Bloomberg earlier this year.