‘Wise’ New Japanese Hedge Fund Pays Off

Apr 6 2009 | 2:03am ET

If the early returns are any indication, investing in the new Wisdom of Japan Fund is a very wise move, indeed.

The fund, which was launched by Epic Partners Investments Co. on March 2, returned 2.1% in its first month of trading, while the average Japan-focused hedge fund lost 0.4%. The market-neutral fund has also doubled its assets since its debut, and now managed ¥850 million (US$8.5 million), Bloomberg News reports.

Wisdom of Japan is managed by Tadashi Mukai, who joined Epic last year. Mukai has managed market-neutral funds for eight years, and two years ago his UMJ Neutro Fund was the best-performing Japanese market-neutral offering, according to AsiaHedge.

“Market-neutral funds focused on Japanese stocks are all about diversification, so you are pretty much hedged for any sort of unexpected events like a missile from North Korea or some natural disaster like an earthquake,” Mukai told Bloomberg on Thursday, only days before North Korea’s controversial missile test.

Wisdom of Japan has about 300 names in its portfolio, split evenly between longs and shorts. Mukai said he hopes to increase the fund’s assets to ¥10 billion (US$100 million) within a year.

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