Paulson Battered In August

Sep 8 2010 | 7:54pm ET

For years, everything John Paulson touched turned to gold. This year, the only gold he’s touching is, well, gold.

New York-based Paulson & Co.’s largest hedge fund, Advantage Plus, continued its losing ways in 2010 last month, shedding 4.26%. The $9 billion fund is down 11% through August. The less-levered Advantage fund shed 2.8% and is down 7.5% on the year.

The Credit Opportunities fund—which put Paulson on the map turning in triple-digit returns three years ago shorting the subprime mortgage market—also lost ground in August, falling 1.04%.

Paulson, the world’s third-largest hedge fund manager, bet big on an economic turnaround this year. And with the recovery a modest affair, at best, and the broader markets dropping in August, the firm’s Recovery fund plunged 9.13% last month. On the bright side, like the economic recovery, the fund is essentially flat this year.

On the other hand, Paulson’s bet on gold is paying off handsomely. Its gold-only fund rose 9% last month, and is up about 15% through the year’s first eight months. What’s more, with some one-third of the firm’s total assets in the precious metal, gold’s rise has undoubtedly helped mitigate its other fund’s losses.

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