Paulson Takes Beating As Gold Drops

Feb 7 2011 | 10:09am ET

A couple of prominent hedge fund managers had a rough start to 2010.

John Paulson, whose belief in gold earned him $5 billion last year, took it on the chin last month as gold prices declined 6%. Paulson & Co.'s gold fund fell by twice as much, dropping 12%.

The $36 billion firm's other funds did better—with some posting very respectable returns in the first month of the year—unless your money is invested in its gold-denominated share classes. All of those took a beating last month, dropping between 0.25% and 5.2%.

But if you invest in Paulson's regular share classes, things were rosier. Its flagship Advantage fund rose 0.24% while its Advantage Plus fund added 0.4%. Both the firm's Enhanced and Credit funds returned 4.35% on the month, while its Partners fund was up 2.34% and its Recovery fund 0.89%.

Like his fellow bigger 2010 winner Paulson, William Ackman had a forgettable January. Pershing Square Capital Management's flagship fund, which rose nearly 30% last year, was down 2.6% last month.

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