Hedge Funds Add 0.6% In March To End Best First Quarter Since '06

Apr 9 2012 | 11:17am ET

Hedge funds enjoyed their best first quarter in six years—but still badly lagged the broader markets, according to a major industry index.

The Hennessee Hedge Fund Index rose 0.6% last month, making it three-for-three in terms of positive monthly returns in 2012. The benchmark is up 4.6% in the first quarter.

Unfortunately for hedge funds, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 12% over the same period.

"Hedge funds have performed well given their low net exposures," managing principal Lee Hennessee said. "However, managers did express some frustration on the short side of the portfolio. Many high-beta short positions rallied more than the overall market in the first quarter, detracting from performance."

Equity long/short strategies were some of the best in March, adding 1% on the month.

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