Posts filed under “Hedge Funds”

Tales of the Death of Hedge Funds Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

During the past few months, we have posted a few words here on the quandary that is hedge funds. One such effort was titled “The Hedge-Fund Manager Dilemma,” and it explored the public’s fascination with the hedge-fund crowd. The next, “Why Investors Love Hedge Funds,” looked at why, despite stunning underperformance during the past decade, so much money was still flowing to the hedge funds.

Now, we are seeing early signs that some institutional investors are losing patience. Case in point: California Public Employees’ Retirement System. The Wall Street Journal noted that the pension fund is looking to reduce hedge-fund holdings by as much as 40 percent. “Public pensions from California to Ohio are backing away from hedge funds because of concerns about high fees and lackluster returns.”

Although this might be a rational response to issues of costs and performance, I would hasten to add that this is only anecdotal evidence. When we look at data such as money flows, it suggests hedge funds are continuing to pull in cash at an astounding pace. The hedge-fund-industrial complex now commands more than $3 trillion in assets. That is up from $2.04 trillion in 2012, and a mere $118 billion in 1997.

Calpers has a reputation for being a thought leader in the institutional-investment world. I have spoken with various pension funds and foundations over the past few years, and while the issue of hedge funds is under discussion, there is no consensus. Based on what various folks in the U.S. and Europe say, there still is great interest in hedge funds. Many investors are more than willing to forsake beta (returns that match the market) in the mad pursuit of alpha (above-market returns).

Still, this looks like it might be the start of something interesting.    Continues here

Category: Hedge Funds, Investing, Psychology

The Transition From Alpha to Beta

click for larger chart Source: Pension Partners   Hedge-fund assets recently eclipsed $3 trillion. One of the more popular strategies for hedge funds has been the long/short equity fund. Charlie Bilello, director of research at Pension Partners and the source of our chart today, writes:  Continues here

Category: Hedge Funds, Investing

Underinvested in US Equities, Overinvested in Hedge Funds

Last summer in Boston, the Trustee Leadership Forum for Retirement Security held its annual meeting at Harvard’s Kennedy School. Trustees and representatives of various state pension funds listened to explanations about the challenges facing endowments and pension funds. The conference is an attempt to explain why so many state pensions are underfunded and underperforming. The…Read More

Category: Hedge Funds, Investing, Venture Capital

How to Lose a Billion Dollars in Hedge Funds

Take Apart: Overall, it’s a swing in the financial fortune of one of the country’s top private universities and one of the world’s most esteemed Jewish institutions of more than $1.3 billion, well more than 10 times the losses from the portion of Yeshiva’s portfolio invested with Madoff. Students who applied to and enrolled at…Read More

Category: Corporate Management, Hedge Funds, Investing, Really, really bad calls

Be Wrong Like Ray Dalio

In yesterday’s column, I wrote: If you have an issue with Social Security, then fix it. The regressive taxes to fund retirement benefits top out at about $117,000 in 2014. Why not simply raise that to $250,000 next year and $500,000 during the next 20 years. Congratulations, you just made Social Security solvent for the…Read More

Category: Cognitive Foibles, Corporate Management, Hedge Funds, Psychology

Hedge Fund vs S&P500 Performance

click for larger graphic Source: Bianco Research   Yesterday’s discussion about the Sohn Conference led to a few interesting e-mails discussing fees and performance (this is a favorite subject of ours: see this and this) and several readers asked to see a chart of specific measures of performance. Continues here

Category: Hedge Funds

Beware of Hedge Fund Managers Bearing Stock Tips

This week was the 19th annual Ira Sohn conference. It is an opportunity to raise money for a good cause (pediatric cancer research and treatment), and hobnob with rock star hedge-fund managers. It has become a must-attend event. Just remember one important thing: Ignore the stock tips. It is true that the picks and pans…Read More

Category: Hedge Funds, Trading, UnGuru

The Biases of Your Favorite Market Pundits . . .

Ever wonder what motivates various pundits, strategists and fund managers to spout off about whatever it is they are yammering on about? Step back and examine all of the various words spilled on markets. Scratch a little beneath the surface, and you quickly realize that not all participants are in a relentless search for the…Read More

Category: Financial Press, Hedge Funds, Investing, UnGuru

It’s a Tech Bubble! Unless You Care About Earnings and Valuations

Earlier this week, Greenlight Capital hedge fund manager David Einhorn reignited the bubble debate that we have spilled so many pixels dissecting. The shorter of Lehman Brothers and the New York Mets fan said in a quarterly letter to clients “we are witnessing our second tech bubble in 15 years.” The Bubble Chatter is nothing…Read More

Category: Hedge Funds, Psychology, Short Selling, Valuation

The Cognitive Side of Hedge Fund Investing

Larry Swedroe, research director for BAM Advisor Services LLC, noted earlier this month that total hedge fund assets under management, or AUM, reached $2.63 trillion. This represents a sizable increase, despite fund performance generously described as lackluster. The increase in assets under management led to some interesting discussions. Lots of readers had e-mailed me with…Read More

Category: Hedge Funds, Investing, Psychology