Activist hedge funds are worth piggybacking for a variety of reasons:

1. They do enormous research to find out where there is hidden value. Activists typically go into situations where the value isn't immediately clear and they press management to unlock that value (for instance, trying to get MCD to sell real estate holdings, etc).
2. They are typically long-term holders. Activists tend to take 5% or greater positions in a company. They aren't able to nimbly trade out of those positions.
3. They usually publish their research in 13D filings in order to convince shareholders to vote their way.

The top activist funds that are worth following (and we keep track of them here on Stockpickr) are:

- Shamrock. Run by Stanley Gold and Roy Disney (yes, that Disney), their recent successes include TRDO and DIS.
- Barington Capital. They haven't had a bad investment since 2001. According to Dealbreaker magazine they have never had a negative investment.
- Jana Partners
- Carl Icahn Recent success, believe it or not, includes TWX.
- Chapman Capital - Chapment is an extreme activist and usually files very detailed 13Ds even potentially including the divorce filings of the CEO.
- Third Point Probably the highest returning fund on the list.
- Steel Partners
- Pershing Square
- Newcastle Partners
- Fine Capital

How can you piggyback these funds? Once you signup for Stockpickr you can bookmark any of these funds by going to their portfolio and rating them by clicking on the stars above their name. We update these portfolios whenever they file a new 13D or get active on a position. Once you bookmark a portfolio you will get an automatic email everytime they have a new position or are updated in any way.

We plan on following up on this post by having a post within the next week or so on the best value funds to piggyback and the best mutual funds to piggyback.