Few Thanks To Give For Hedge Funds In November

Dec 5 2008 | 1:43am ET

Hedge funds continued their inexorable slide toward the New Year in November, with the industry almost certainly facing double-digit losses for the full year.

Hedge Fund Research’s HFRX Global Hedge Fund Index shed another 3.04% last month. While that’s a marked improvement from October, when the same index plummeted 9.26%, it leaves the index down 22.3% with just one month to go in the year.

Just like last month, the market continued to eviscerate convertible arbitrage funds. The HFRX Convertible Arbitrage Index dropped another 10.5% last month—it fell an eye-popping 34.68% in October—leaving it down 55.83% on the year. Other strategies with little to be thankful for included relative value arbitrage, which lost 7.91% (down 35.83% year-to-date), and distressed securities, which fell a distressing 6.15% (down 23.68% YTD).

Against that bloody backdrop, equity hedge and event-driven funds look like a rally. The former shed 2.49% in November (down 24.17% YTD) and the latter 2.74% (down 21.5% YTD).

Three strategies tracked by the HFRX indices managed something pretty close to miraculous in this market: positive returns. What’s more, all three are actually up year-to-date, as well. Merger arbitrage funds led the way with a 1.57% return last month (1.45% YTD), followed by macro funds and equity-market neutral funds at 1.48% (2.28% YTD) and 0.69% (0.99% YTD), respectively.


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