As you are no doubt aware, you cannot currently harness Steve Cohen’s investing prowess (for now), unless you marry one of his daughters or feel like getting yelled at a lot between the hours of 9 and 5. But you may not be entirely out of luck: A couple of B-school professors have figured out that fund managers who live within a few miles of each other have a nearly 40% overlap in their portfolios. So you might want to start scouting for money managers who live in north Greenwich (or Beverly Hills). Or who can see a certain magical holiday light spectacular from their front porch. Or who ride the elevators with Ken Griffin in Chicago. Or who can hear the lamps hitting the walls at the Soros place.
The overlap at funds run by neighbors in the study also is 25% higher than that at funds overseen by managers who live in the same city but aren’t neighbors. The definition of “neighbors” reflects location and population density; 75% of the neighboring managers live within 3.8 miles’ driving distance. The sampling includes 4.1 million quarterly fund-pair observations from the first quarter of 1996 through 2010’s fourth quarter….
The study found the neighbor effect produces “a statistically significant positive abnormal return of 6% to 7% per year” on the overlapping holdings of a hypothetical portfolio.