Undaunted by poor returns, hedge fund investors have pushed the industry's assets to their 2006 levels.
Hedge funds managed $2.16 trillion at the end of the first half, up 6.7% from the beginning of the year, according to HedgeFund Intelligence. Most of the growth came in the biggest hedge funds, those managing more than $1 billion, which added $150 billion in assets and now manage $1.85 trillion. The largest 345 firms account for 82% of total industry assets.
It wasn't just the biggest firms that grew, it was the biggest hedge fund centers. Assets grew in the U.S., which accounts for almost three-quarters of global hedge fund assets, as well as in Europe, but fell 5% in Asia.
The growth puts hedge funds back where they were in 2006. But they still have a ways to go to reach their $2.6 trillion historic high, hit in 2007 prior to the financial crisis.