Little To Cheer In January Hedge Fund Numbers

Feb 15 2007 | 10:50am ET

January was an especially cold month for a lot of hedge fund managers.

The Credit Suisse/Tremont Hedge Fund Index rose 1.33% in January, 50 basis points behind its December return and again trailing the Standard & Poor’s 500, which was up 1.51% on the month.

Oliver Schupp, president of the Credit Suisse Index Co., put a brave face on another round of disappointing numbers. “Overall, this market environment has bolstered performance and the majority of hedge fund sectors ended January on a positive note,” he said. So much for alpha.

The Credit Suisse/Tremont Investable Hedge Fund Index rose 1.25% last month, after jumping 1.84% in December.

As always, there were winners and losers: Managed futures funds tracked by CS/Tremont rose 2.26%—though that’s a decline from December’s 4.05%—and investable managed futures funds were up 1.61%. Event-driven funds also had a good month, rising 2.06%. In particular, event-driven multi-strategy funds enjoyed a happy new year, with a 2.43% return. The distressed and risk arbitrage subindices were up 1.71% and 0.2%, respectively. Investable event-driven funds did even better, posted a 2.74% return. Multi-strategy funds also did better than most, with the overall subindex up 1.7% and the investable subindex up 1.71%.

On the other hand, after an astounding 2006, emerging markets funds are hurting in the early going of 2007. In fact, CS/Tremont’s investable emerging markets subindex was the only strategy that lost money in January, dropping 0.72% after a robust 4.29% return a month earlier. The overall subindex didn’t fare much better with a relatively flat January at 0.08%. Other slow-starters include fixed-income arbitrage (up 0.12%, investable subindex up 0.27%) and equity-market neutral (up 0.61%, investable subindex up 0.50%).

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