Spooked by the financial crisis and the death of its co-founder, investors fled hedge fund HedgEnergy in droves prior to last year. The handful that stayed were rewarded handsomely for their loyalty.
The Houston-based fund soared 37% last year, Bloomberg News reports. The fund started 2009 with just $10 million in assets—down from $150 million prior July 2008, when co-founder Lee Moncrief lost his battle with cancer—but surviving co-founder B.J. Willingham moved that money into natural-gas and oil producers, producing returns nearly double those of the average hedge fund.
“There was such a massive liquidation in inventories of every sort of manufactured goods in late 2008 and early ‘09 that we knew there was going to be a snap-back in industrial production and energy demand just to replenish,” Willingham told Bloomberg. And he’s not giving up on those areas yet, arguing that they still have farther to rise.
Thanks to its strong performance, HedgEnergy has seen its assets jump to $20 million over the past 10 months—much of it due to performance, to be sure, but some investors also returned to the fund.