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 BenchmarksMarYTD 201920182017
Hedge Fund Aggregate0.87%5.40%-5.09%8.94%
50% MSCI World/50% Citi WGBI1.29%7.05%-4.60%14.75%
S&P 5001.94%13.65%-4.38%21.83%
Primary MarketsMarYTD 201920182017
Broad Financial Derivatives2.49%2.20%-5.42%2.36%
Broad Multi-Market1.59%3.34%-3.88%4.56%
Fixed Income/Credit0.36%2.78%0.01%6.04%
Broad Capital Structure0.23%4.96%-3.46%8.90%
Volatility/Options Strategies0.12%2.25%-2.40%4.81%
Primary StrategyMarYTD 201920182017
Managed Futures2.78%2.81%-6.02%2.77%
Quantitative Directional Equity1.28%4.60%-4.73%10.45%
Origination & Financing0.97%3.11%4.97%6.69%
Convertible Arbitrage0.82%5.07%-2.22%5.71%
Directional Credit0.57%2.78%0.69%5.32%
Long/Short Equity0.53%8.19%-7.05%12.13%
Relative Value Credit0.47%2.65%-0.98%5.48%
Market Neutral Equity0.24%0.96%-3.21%3.58%
Event Driven0.22%3.78%-1.94%7.43%
Multi-Strategy Credit0.07%1.98%0.03%5.70%
Event Driven – Activist-2.55%5.48%-10.36%11.12%
Prominent Universes by SizeMarYTD 201920182017
Ten Largest Hedge Funds0.36%2.49%1.36%5.91%
Ten Largest Long/Short Equity0.23%3.36%-3.81%8.54%
Ten Largest Macro0.45%1.28%2.13%2.24%
Ten Largest Managed Futures4.74%2.96%-7.48%3.86%
Ten Largest Multi-Strategy0.14%2.96%-2.57%6.40%
Economic DevelopmentMarYTD 201920182017
Emerging Markets1.55%7.44%-10.84%19.54%
Country ExposureMarYTD 201920182017
Asia ex-Japan1.90%7.59%-11.33%21.76%