New Hedge Fund Report Finds Strong Performance in Q1 2019

11 Apr

New Hedge Fund Report Finds Strong Performance in Q1 2019

Hedge funds gained an average of +0.87% in March, the third consecutive month of positive returns, following a five-month string of aggregate declines, according to the March eVestment hedge fund performance data. The Q1 2019 year to date (YTD) average gains of +5.40% is the industry’s best aggregate returns since the start of 2012.

Highlighting the volatility frequently associated with emerging markets, India-focused hedge funds were the big winners in March, returning +10.35%, bringing YTD returns into the positive at +5.08%. This is a stark contrast to the -16.23% India-focused funds delivered in 2018. China focused funds are having a strong start to 2019 as well, returning +5.03% in March and +18.65% YTD.

Other interesting points from the March eVestment hedge fund performance data include:

  • Among primary strategies, Managed Futures funds produced big gains in March, returning an average of +2.78%, bringing Q1 2019 returns to +2.81%. The group has a long way to go to offset 2018 average losses of -6.02%. The largest funds in the space returned an average of +4.74% in March, but again still must recover a lot of ground to offset 2018’s losses of -7.48%.
  • Other big winners in March among primary strategies included Macro funds, which returned +1.56% for the month (+2.44% YTD) and Quantitative Directional Equity funds, which returned +1.28% in March, bringing YTD returns to +4.60%.
  • On the other end of the return spectrum, Event Driven – Activist funds took a dive in March, with returns coming in at -2.55% for the month, however their YTD returns are still in the green at +5.48%, a far cry from the -10.36% these funds returned in 2018.
  • Among primary markets, Commodities funds were the only funds in the red for March at -0.35%, while YTD returns are still in the green at +2.61%.

The full eVestment hedge fund performance data for March and Q1 is below.

Industry Benchmarks Mar YTD 2019 2018 2017
Hedge Fund Aggregate 0.87% 5.40% -5.09% 8.94%
50% MSCI World/50% Citi WGBI 1.29% 7.05% -4.60% 14.75%
S&P 500 1.94% 13.65% -4.38% 21.83%
Primary Markets Mar YTD 2019 2018 2017
Broad Financial Derivatives 2.49% 2.20% -5.42% 2.36%
Broad Multi-Market 1.59% 3.34% -3.88% 4.56%
Equity 0.76% 7.58% -7.53% 13.45%
Fixed Income/Credit 0.36% 2.78% 0.01% 6.04%
Broad Capital Structure 0.23% 4.96% -3.46% 8.90%
FX/Currency 0.18% 0.22% 0.76% -3.46%
Volatility/Options Strategies 0.12% 2.25% -2.40% 4.81%
Commodities -0.35% 2.61% -6.00% 0.46%
Primary Strategy Mar YTD 2019 2018 2017
Managed Futures 2.78% 2.81% -6.02% 2.77%
Macro 1.56% 2.44% -2.97% 4.04%
Quantitative Directional Equity 1.28% 4.60% -4.73% 10.45%
Origination & Financing 0.97% 3.11% 4.97% 6.69%
Convertible Arbitrage 0.82% 5.07% -2.22% 5.71%
Directional Credit 0.57% 2.78% 0.69% 5.32%
Long/Short Equity 0.53% 8.19% -7.05% 12.13%
Relative Value Credit 0.47% 2.65% -0.98% 5.48%
Multi-Strategy 0.31% 3.40% -3.28% 6.85%
Market Neutral Equity 0.24% 0.96% -3.21% 3.58%
Event Driven 0.22% 3.78% -1.94% 7.43%
Multi-Strategy Credit 0.07% 1.98% 0.03% 5.70%
Distressed 0.00% 3.29% -0.31% 6.64%
Event Driven – Activist -2.55% 5.48% -10.36% 11.12%
Prominent Universes by Size Mar YTD 2019 2018 2017
Ten Largest Hedge Funds 0.36% 2.49% 1.36% 5.91%
Ten Largest Long/Short Equity 0.23% 3.36% -3.81% 8.54%
Ten Largest Macro 0.45% 1.28% 2.13% 2.24%
Ten Largest Managed Futures 4.74% 2.96% -7.48% 3.86%
Ten Largest Multi-Strategy 0.14% 2.96% -2.57% 6.40%
Economic Development Mar YTD 2019 2018 2017
Emerging Markets 1.55% 7.44% -10.84% 19.54%
Country Exposure Mar YTD 2019 2018 2017
India 10.35% 5.08% -16.23% 32.87%
China 5.03% 18.65% -16.63% 34.74%
Asia ex-Japan 1.90% 7.59% -11.33% 21.76%
Japan 0.48% 2.77% -8.02% 13.77%
Russia -0.07% 7.80% -13.20% 13.16%
Brazil -2.21% 3.33% -2.29% 15.13%