Opalesque Industry Update - BarclayHedge and TrimTabs Investment Research reported today that hedge funds received $24.3 billion (1.1% of assets) in February, the highest monthly inflow in three years, building on an inflow of $4.4 billion (0.2% of assets) in January.|
“The hedge fund industry raked in $28.7 billion in January and February, an 83% jump from $15.7 billion in the same period last year,” said Sol Waksman, president and founder of BarclayHedge.
Industry assets climbed to a 5–1/2 year high of $2.2 trillion in February, according to estimates based on data from 3,374 funds. Assets rose 18% in the past 12 months but are down 11% from the all-time high of $2.4 trillion in June 2008.
The monthly TrimTabs/BarclayHedge Hedge Fund Flow Report noted that the hedge fund industry delivered a return of 1.9% in February, recovering from January’s 0.4% loss but substantially underperforming the S&P 500, which gained 4.6%. In the past 12 months, the industry returned 10.0%, while the S&P 500 gained 24.5%.
Equity Long Bias hedge funds, the best-performing category in the past 12 months, rebounded in February. “Equity Long Bias funds gained 3.0% in February, the best return in five months and a healthy recovery from January’s 0.8% loss,” Waksman said.
The monthly TrimTabs/BarclayHedge Survey of Hedge Fund Managers finds hedge fund managers turned a bit more upbeat on U.S. stocks in March. More than half are bullish on the U.S. dollar, no doubt responding to the Federal Reserve’s plan to dial back on monetary stimulus. Just under half of managers expect stocks to outperform bonds and precious metals over the next six months.