Bill Ackman's Hedge Fund Is Killing It This Year

While most hedge funds are struggling in 2014, Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square is having a spectacular year.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Ackman’s $US13.7 billion Pershing Square Capital is up 18.7% for the year through the end of April.

To put that in perspective, the S&P 500 is up about 1.6% year-to-date. According to HFR’s HFRX Equity Hedge Index, the average equity hedge fund is down -0.31% year-to-date.

Ackman is known for being a mostly long-only fund manager. The activist investor takes very large positions in a handful of companies.

His portfolio includes Air Products & Chemicals, Beam, Burger King, Canadian Pacific, Howard Hughes, General Growth and Procter & Gamble, his latest 13F filing shows.

Ackman recently disclosed massive stakes in pharmaceutical companies Valeant and Allergan. He’s partnered with Valeant to pursue a takeover of Allergan. This investment helped his fund rise 7.3% in April, the WSJ noted.

Ackman is also notoriously short Herbalife, a multi-level marketing company that sells weight loss shakes. He rarely shorts companies. Ackman believes Herbalife operates as a “pyramid scheme” and that regulators will shut it down.

The FTC and a number of attorneys generals are investigating the company.

He has yet to break even on that short bet.

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