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Friday, May 8, 2009

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NYT Deal Book
May 7, 2009, 5:24 pm

Hedge Funds Rise 3.8 Percent in April

Hedge funds posted gains of 3.8 percent in April as the stock market continued its rally and commodities began rising, according to a preliminary report from Hedge Fund Research.

Year-to-date, hedge funds have gained 4.2%, with the best performance coming from firms that specialize in energy and basic materials. Funds that were short the market were hammered in April, falling 7.5 percent on average.

The hedge fund industry faced its worst year on record in 2008, although the average fund still outperformed the overall stock market. Over 1,000 funds were forced to liquidate and halt withdrawals last year.

Firms have also suffered a barrage of criticism from politicians and the public recently, leading many firms to brace for increased regulation

Year-to-date, fixed-income/convertible arbitrage funds remained the year’s best performers, returning 5.7 percent last month to put 2009’s advance at around 18 percent. The gains, which were fueled by a general rally in the market, come after the sector was the worst performer last year, falling 35 percent.

Just for Comparison

April Returns for some major indices:

S & P 500 +9.4%
Wilshire 5000 total US market +10.5%
Nasdaq +12.3%
MSCI Emerging Markets +15.6%
EAFE (Developed Foreign) 11.5%

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