Hedge Fund Inflows Total $3.8B In June, $73B In H1

Aug 10 2011 | 11:50am ET

Hedge funds ended the first half with their sixth-straight monthly inflow. But the second half may be shaping up quite differently.

The hedge fund industry took in $3.8 billion in net inflows in June, bringing total first-half inflows to $73 billion, the best in four years. But total hedge fund assets actually declined in June, the average hedge fund's second straight month of performance losses, by some $16 billion to $1.806 trillion, according to BarclayHedge and TrimTabs Investment Research.

"Investors were very kind to hedge funds in the first half of the year," BarclayHedge's Sol Waksman said. But, he warned, "we wonder if strong inflows will persist through the remainder of the year in light of the recent bloodbath in equities."

Much of the new money pouring into the industry has skipped stocks, however: Investors added $15.1 billion to fixed-income funds, the second-best inflow of any hedge fund strategy. Not surprisingly, such funds have also posted the second-best performance this year.

TrimTabs' Minyi Chen, however, echoed Waksman's concerns, noting that, "We see lopsidedness between performance and flows regularly in not only our hedge fund flow data but also our retail and institutional flow data," Chen said. "These imbalances are predictive more often than not."

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