Hedge Fund Outflows Continue Despite Positive Performance

Feb 12 2009 | 2:02pm ET

While the hedge fund industry seems to have turned things around in the last two months, investors are still heading for the exits in large numbers.

According to early estimates from HedgeFund.net, hedge funds suffered outflows for the fifth consecutive month in January. Hedge fund assets fell 5.8% last month to $1.749 trillion, due almost entirely to redemptions and fund liquidations totaling $124.7 billion.

HFN’s benchmark indices, like most others released so far, show the average hedge fund posting a positive January, at 0.2%. But the data provider warns that the figures are preliminary, and says it expects the final performance numbers to be in the red as more funds it tracks report their January numbers.

For now, nine of HFN’s benchmarks are in the black against six in the red. The best performers last month were convertible arbitrage funds (up 5.98%), short-bias funds (up 2.76%), options strategies funds (up 2.46%) and statistical arbitrage funds (up 2.42%). The worst were long-only funds (down 4.17%), special situations funds (down 3.05%) and emerging markets funds (down 2.61%).

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