Hedge funds suffer heavy losses in August; Fortress, Renaissance and Bridgewater Outperform
|September 20th, 2011||
|Hedge funds lost an average of -3.36% in August, according to the Hennessee Group. August was the worst month for hedge funds since October 2008, right after the global financial crisis. Losses were driven by European and American debt concerns, as well as a high level of volatility and correlation between assets. |
The Hennessee long/short equity index lost -3.68% (-1.65% YTD), in comparison to -5.68% and -4.36% for the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average, respectively. Equity markets were hit particularly hard in August, with the S&P 500 down almost 17% at one point in the month.
Other risky assets, such as distressed debt, were also hit with losses as investors fled to safe haven assets. The Hennessee Distressed Index lost -6.01% (-2.22% YTD) and the Hennessee Arbitrage/Event Driven Index lost -2.98% (-0.79% YTD) in August.
Global macroeconomic turmoil also made life tough for hedge fund managers, with Hennessee’s Global/Macro Index down -2.91% (-3.07% YTD) and the Hennessee International Index down -5.97% (-4.43% YTD). Europe was the biggest loser, with the Euro Stoxx index down -13.8% in August and -22% at its lowest.
There were some big winners in August, however, with Fortress Investment Group the most prominent name. The Fortress Commodities Offshore Fund gained 6% in August (+1.8% YTD). Another winner was James Simons’s Renaissance Technologies. The Renaissance Institutional Futures Fund (RIFF) and the Renaissance Institutional Equities Fund (RIEF) rose 6.6 percent and 5.4 percent respectively, adding to their yearly gains of 9.2 percent and 25.6 percent. Fortress and Renaissance are number Furthermore, Ray Dalio’s Bridgewater Associates’ Pure Alpha II fund is up 25.3% YTD after a strong August return.
Renaissance Technologies and Bridgewater Associates are both ranked #3 and #21 on the latest Top 100 Hedge Fund List by US equity assets, respectively. While Fortress just missed the top 100 cutoff, falling in it at #112.
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