Shorting REITs Nets Miami Hedge Fund Big Returns

Dec 5 2008 | 12:41am ET

One Miami-based hedge fund is bucking the industry-wide downturn with a real estate investment trust vehicle. Arcanum Capital Management’s nine-month old REIT Investment Fund returned an estimated 20.5% last month, bringing its year-to-date gains to about 49%.

The fund focuses on the U.S. REITs traded on major stock exchanges. Its typical holding period for each REIT is about three months. Managing partner Henrik Laulund said while November was an extraordinarily good month for the fund, the REIT market as a whole lost around 23% and was down over 41% at the months low.

“It was the huge declines in some of the most distressed REITs in our short portfolio that contributed to this extraordinary return,” he said. “Several weak REITs lost more than 50% of their value in November.”

Laulund said he expects to see further declines in commercial real estate and several REITs, which may create good opportunities to buy REITs that are relatively undervalued and short REITs that are relatively overvalued. 

And while Laulund isn’t actively seeking seeders for his sub-$10 million hedge fund, he said it is something that he is open to take a look at.

Laulund has a background in consulting from Ernst & Young Management Consulting and IBM.

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