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Hedge funds post outflow of $2.9bn in July; Industry assets sink to lowest level since November 2009

Wednesday, September 08, 2010
Opalesque Industry Update - TrimTabs Investment Research and BarclayHedge reported that the hedge fund industry posted an estimated outflow of $2.9 billion, or 0.2% of assets, in July 2010, the second straight outflow as well as the third in four months. Industry assets sank to $1.53 trillion, the third straight decrease and the lowest level since November 2009.

"Hedge funds posted a positive return in July, but they did not regain the ground they lost in May and June," said Sol Waksman, founder and President of BarclayHedge. "They also underperformed the S&P 500 by five percentage points."

Commodity trading advisors (CTAs) posted a heavy inflow of $3.8 billion, or 1.7% of assets, in July, their fifth straight inflow as well as the twelfth in 14 months. In spite of the fact that CTA returns are down 1% so far this year, we're still seeing inflows. Meanwhile, funds of hedge funds redeemed $670 million, or 0.1% of assets, in July.

"Funds of funds are in a bad way," said Vincent Deluard, Executive Vice President at TrimTabs. "They posted only five inflows in the past 25 months, and assets sit at the lowest level since February 2005. Investors continue to abandon them because they have underperformed hedge funds by fourteen percentage points since March 2009."

Hedge fund investors were risk averse in July. Emerging Markets funds redeemed $1.9 billion, or 1.0% of assets, their third straight outflow. In contrast, Fixed Income funds posted an inflow of $1.2 billion, or 0.8% of assets, the fifth inflow in six months. Investors are chasing standout performance.

"Fixed Income funds posted a negative return in only one of the past 19 months, and they are up 6.93% for the year - far and away the best return of any hedge fund strategy," noted Deluard. "Little wonder that investors are drawn to them like moths to a flame."

The TrimTabs/BarclayHedge database tracks hedge fund flows on a monthly basis. The TrimTabs/BarclayHedge Hedge Fund Flow Report provides detailed analysis of these flows as well as relevant topical studies.

(press release)

BarclayHedge is a leading hedge fund data vendor and one of the foremost sources for proprietary research in the field of alternative investments. From its origin as a research specialist and performance measurement firm, BarclayHedge has developed complete client services as a publisher, database and software provider, and industry consultant.

TrimTabs Investment Research is the only independent research service that publishes detailed daily coverage of U.S. stock market liquidity--including mutual fund flows and exchange-traded fund flows--as well as weekly withheld income and employment tax collections. Founded by Charles Biderman, TrimTabs has provided institutional investors with trading strategies since 1990.

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