After August's bloodbath, the hedge fund industry needed a respite in September. It didn't get one.
The average hedge fund plunged another 2.99% last month, following its loss of 3.47% the prior month, according to Hedge Fund Research's HFRX Global Hedge Fund Index. The benchmark is now down 8.43% on the year with just three months to go.
All but one of the 15 strategy and substrategy indices tracked by HFRX were in the red last month, some spectacularly so. Fundamental value funds plummeted 8.05% last month, leaving them down an average of 23.78% on the year—the worst of any strategy or substrategy. Market directional funds weren't far behind, dropping 7.63% (down 16.51% year-to-date).
Two other strategies have suffered double-digit losses through the first nine months of the year: Equity hedge funds have lost an average of 18.39% after falling 4.85% last month, and fundamental growth funds are down 10.84% following a 4.55% September swoon.
Outside of equity strategies, losses were more modest—with the exception of distressed restructuring funds, which lost 4.18% on the month (down 7.8% YTD). Event-driven funds were down 2.2% (down 5.43% YTD), relative value arbitrage funds 2.16% (down 4.1% YTD), macro funds and commodity trading advisers 2% (down 2.97% YTD) and convertible arbitrage funds 1.04% (down 1.77% YTD).
Only systematic diversified CTAs steered clear of the carnage. The strategy rose 1.98% last month and is up 0.93% on the year.