QIM's Winning Streak Ends On Post-Earthquake Volatility

Apr 8 2011 | 12:21pm ET

Last month's earthquake and tsunami in Japan stopped one hedge fund's hot streak cold.

Quantitative Investment Management, whose flagship Global Program had followed up its big 2010—it returned more than 15%—with two straight up months this year stumbled in March. The $5.2 billion commodity trading adviser fell 0.4%, cuttings its first-quarter return to 1.1%.

"The earthquake which rocked northern Japan on Friday, March 11, sent tremors through world financial markets," Charlottesville, Va.-based QIM wrote to investors. "The aftereffects of this catastrophe included the distinct possibility of a meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant."

QIM said it had been long both Japanese equities and oil in the week leading up to the tragedy, and suffered in the two-day "plunge" that "was the worst in Japanese stocks since 1987." But the fund managed to bounce back, erasing most of its losses as Japanese stocks rebounded.

"It is with a  heavy heart that QIM publishes this market commentary," the letter read. "The firm is fortunate to have many Japanese investors and our thoughts are with them as they recover from this tragedy."

QIM's two funds based on Global, 1x and 3x, were also down, 0.41% (up 1.17% YTD) and 1.25% (up 3.54% YTD). But its stock fund, Tactical Aggressive, bounced back from a down February to rise an estimated 3.21%; the $466 million fund is up 7.87% on the year.

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