Hedge funds with long exposure to the equity market (generally long/short managers) got crushed in August.
Investors have faith they’ll bounce back later in the year, but that’s assuming they stay invested. Cash levels are approaching 2008 levels, according to fund administrators who spoke to the Financial Times, and hedge fund managers are concerned that investors don’t have the stomach to take advantage of what might be a buying opportunity.
We rounded up the hedge fund managers that are standing out in the recent volatile environment, whether its for performing well or poorly.
Here’s what’s happening.
Fund: Paulson & Co
Invested in: Gold, Citigroup, Anadarko, Transocean, Hartford Financial are his top long holdings as of June 2011. Paulson has a lot of market exposure (to Bank of America, and HP for example) which is why his performance is so bad right now. Three of his big holdings: BAC, HP, and C are down between 30-40% YTD.
Fund: Henderson European Absolute Return
Invested in: Long/short equity
Returns: -32.46% YTD through August 5th in the Henderson European Absolute Return fund. A big reversal from last year when he was up 25%.
Invested in: long Chinese industrials, which if you look at the index CHII, which is down 25% YTD, you'll see are down considerably this year because of economic tightening in China and the global slowdown (many are exporters) ; short consumer staples, which as a 'safe haven-like' sector is up about 20% YTD if you're looking at one of the indexes, the XLP.
Returns: Highbridge's long/short equity fund was -9.2% by the middle of August
Fund: Cantillon Global
Invested in: long-only equities. Oracle, Google, Coca-Cola, analogue Devices, and Colgate were Cantillon's largest long positions as of June 30th, according to the fund's most recent 13f
Returns: -6.25% by the middle of the month, but he's doing better YTD
Fund: Viking Global
Invested in: long/short equity. Amazon, Priceline, Time Warner, Invesco, and Estee Lauder were some of Halvorsen's biggest long holdings as of June 30th
Returns: -4% through the middle of August
Invested in: We're guessing he's probably shorting European bank stocks, betting against the debt of European companies in sectors such as cyclicals and telecoms, and utilities, because they would be hurt by austerity measures taken by indebted governments.
Returns: +1.64% in July, +4.71% YTD in CQS's Credit Long-Short fund.
Fund: Brevan Howard
Invested in: long Treasuries (Treasury market was up 2.78% in August), and long volatility, both of which are performing well in the current economic environment because of recession fears, the Euro debt crisis, slow growth expectations, poor jobs reports, and the like
Performance: +11% YTD in the Master (macro) fund, which is managed by founder Alan Howard and 50+ portfolio managers; +8% through August
Fund: Bridgewater's flagship
Invested in: gold, Treasuries, the Swissie. The first two are doing well because they are 'safe havens.' The Swiss Franc is performing well (the index has it up 17% YTD) because their economic data is strong. Unemployment 3.5% last year. Economic growth beat expectations and came in at .9% in 2010. Debt to GDP ratio is only ~28% compared to the U.S.'s ~60%.
Returns: +15% YTD, according to Lyxor
Fund: Tiger Global
Invested in: Yandex, Liberty Global, (probably) Facebook, Netflix and Amazon were his top long holdings as of June 30 2011. But his is a long/short tech fund, so he probably had a number of profitable shorts on too.
Returns: around +30% YTD through July
Fund: JAT Capital
Invested in: Sina Corp, Baidu, Priceline, Wynn Resorts, and Netflix are his top long holdings as of June 30 2011. But his is a long/short tech fund, so he probably had a number of profitable shorts on too.
Returns: +32.5% YTD through July
*Note: Earlier we mistakenly misspelled Thaler's last name as 'Taylor,' the name of another hedge fund manager.
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