Skip to main content

Hedge funds fight to survive shakeout

This week's issue of Barron's takes on the great hedge fund industry shakeout of 2008-2009, in a story called, "Hedge Funds Meet Their Match".

Here's an excerpt from that piece:

"Hedge fund managers, the stars of the investing world for most of this decade, were brought to their knees in the turmoil of 2008. The average fund fell far short of its goal of "absolute returns," posting an 18% loss through November.

Old standby strategies, such as buying some stocks and selling others short, suddenly stopped working. Customers bolted in record numbers. Then, at year's end, the industry got a black eye for putting money in Bernard Madoff's black box.

"The hedge fund is being questioned, and it's in danger," says Timothy Brog of Locksmith Capital Management, an activist New York hedge fund.

Indeed, the industry is moving into survival mode for 2009 -- and many funds won't make it. The number of hedge funds, which surged in recent years to an estimated 10,000, could eventually fall to about half that, as small, marginal players are sold or go out of business..."

The article goes on to note that 2008 was the worst year on record (Hedge Fund Research data) in terms of fund performance and investor redemptions. One source estimates that the industry's assets will have shrunk from $2 trillion to $1.25 trillion by the time the shakeout is done.

But hey, we've been here before, right? Previous bear market cycles narrowed the field in the past, with the shakeout that followed the late 1960s hedge fund boom being one notable example.

Nevertheless, hedge funds continued to thrive and grow in size over time. Just ask Barton Biggs, managing partner at Traxis Partners, and one-time employee of the original hedge fund, A.W. Jones & Co.

Related articles and posts:

1. Hedge funds: regulations and redemptions - Finance Trends.

2. GLG's Roman, Roubini predict hedge fund failures - Bloomberg.

3. John Paulson in Bloomberg Markets magazine - Finance Trends.

4. Change ahead for hedge funds - Breakingviews.com via NY Times.

Popular posts from this blog

New! Finance Trends now at FinanceTrendsLetter.com

Update for our readers: Finance Trends has a new URL!  Please bookmark our new web address at Financetrendsletter.com Readers sticking with RSS updates should point your feed readers to our new Finance Trends feedburner .   Thank you to all of our loyal readers who have been with us since the early days. Exciting stuff to come in the weeks ahead! As a quick reminder, you can subscribe to our free email list to receive the Finance Trends Newsletter . You'll receive email updates about once every 4-8 weeks (about 2-3 times per quarter).  Stay up to date with our real-time insights and updates on Twitter .

Moneyball: How the Red Sox Win Championships

Welcome, readers . T o get the first look at brand new posts (like the following piece) and to receive our exclusive email list updates, please subscribe to the Finance Trends Newsletter .   The Boston Red Sox won their fourth World Series title of t he 21st century this we ek. Having won their first Se ries in 86 years back in 200 4, the last decade-plus has marked a very strong return to form for one of baseball's oldest big league clubs. So how did they do it? Quick background: in late 2002, team own er and hedge fund manager, John W. Henry (with his partners ) bought the Boston Red Sox and its historic Fenway Park for a reported sum of $ 695 million. Henry and Co. quickly set out to find their ideal General Manager (GM) to help turn around their newly acquired, ailing ship. This brings us to one of my fav orite scenes from the 2011 film , Moneyball , in which John W. Henry (played by Ar liss Howard) attempts to woo Oakland A's GM Billy Beane (Brad Pi

William O'Neil Interview: How to Buy Winning Stocks

Investor's B usiness Daily founder and veteran stock trader, William O'Neil share d his trading methods and insights on buying winning stocks in an in-depth IBD radio interview. Here are some highlights from William O'Neil's interview with IBD: William O'Neil's interest in the stock market began when he started working as a young adult.  "I say many times that I didn't get that much out of college. I didn't have much interest in the stock market until I graduated from college. When I got married, I had to look out into the future and get more serious. The investment world had some appeal and that's when I started studying it. I became a stock broker after I got out of the Air Force."    He moved to Los Angeles and started work in a stock broker's office with twenty other guys. When their phone leads from ads didn't pan out, O'Neil would take the leads and drive down to visit the prospective customers in person.