Hedge funds started the year on a positive note, taking in USD4.4bn or 0.2 per cent of assets in January, according to figures released by BarclayHedge and TrimTabs Investment Research.
“The hedge fund industry took in USD56.6bn in the 12 months ended in January, a big reversal of the outflow of USD12.6bn in the previous 12-month span,” says Sol Waksman, president and founder of BarclayHedge.
Industry assets dipped to USD2.1trn in January from December’s five-year high of USD2.2trn, according to estimates based on data from 3,362 funds. Assets rose 14 per cent in the past 12 months but were down 13 per cent from the all-time high of USD2.4trn in June 2008.
The hedge fund industry lost just 0.4 per cent in January, far outperforming the S&P 500, which skidded 3.4 per cent. In the past 12 months, the industry returned 8.2 per cent, while the S&P 500 gained 21.5 per cent.
Equity long only hedge funds, which led the industry in the past 12 months with a gain of 17.3 per cent, had a rough January.
“Equity long only funds had their worst showing in 20 months, losing 3.3 per cent and more than reversing the 2.0 per cent gain in December,” Waksman says.
The monthly TrimTabs/BarclayHedge Survey of Hedge Fund Managers finds most managers expect gold prices to rise in the next six months, while the share who thinks stocks will outperform bonds and precious metals is below a majority for the first time since August 2013. Managers are equally bullish, bearish, and neutral on the S&P 500 over the next 30 days and similarly split on oil prices over the next six months.