The downfall of gold prices has sent gold exchange-traded funds (ETFs) falling in recent years. However, billionaire investor Stanley Druckenmiller just bought millions of shares of SPDR Gold Shares (NYSE:GLD). The gold ETF is now the largest holding of Stanley Druckenmiller’s family office. (Source: The Securities and Exchange Commission, last accessed August 17, 2015.)
Stanley Druckenmiller started hedge fund Duquesne Capital Management in 1986. The fund had an impressive average annual return of 30%. Druckenmiller was also the chief strategist for George Soros when Soros betted against the British pound and famously “broke the Bank of England.” Soros was reported to have taken home more than $1.0 billion in profits from the shorting.
According to his family office’s most recent SEC filing, Druckenmiller just added 2.9 million shares of SPDR Gold Shares. The new position was worth approximately $323.6 million at the end of June, and made up more than 20% of Druckenmiller’s total holdings.
His second-largest holding is Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB). The billionaire investor added 1.6 million shares of the social media giant to a total of 1.9 million shares, worth around $160.6 million.
Note that the gold ETF is not Druckenmiller’s only stake in precious metals. His SEC filing disclosed that he loaded up 1.3 million shares of Newmont Mining Corporation (NYSE:NEM), worth around $29.9 million. On the copper side, he bought 3.5 million shares of Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (NYSE:FCX) with a value of around $66.0 million.
Druckenmiller’s increased stake in the shiny metal reflects his previous comments on interest rates. He told Bloomberg that the Federal Reserve might not raise interest rates this year: “I have no confidence whatsoever that we’ll see a rate hike in September or December.” (Source: Bloomberg, last accessed August 17, 2015.) He also said that interest rates would likely stay near zero for the next ten years. (Source: Bloomberg, last accessed August 17, 2015.)
In the second quarter, Druckenmiller also added some exposure to the e-commerce business. He bought 327,000 shares of eBay Inc. (NASDAQ:EBAY), worth around $19.7 million. He also bought 593,000 shares of Chinese e-commerce company JD.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:JD). The company runs China’s second-largest e-commerce platform, and has a market share of around 23%.