New York (HedgeCo.Net) – BarclayHedge and TrimTabs Investment Research reported today that the hedge fund industry took in $16.9 billion (0.7% of assets) in May, down slightly from $19.1 billion (0.8% of assets) in April.
“Hedge funds raked in $72.2 billion in the first five months of this year, the strongest January-May inflows since 2007,” said Sol Waksman, president and founder of BarclayHedge.
Industry assets climbed to a 5¾-year high of $2.3 trillion in May, according to estimates based on data from 3,426 funds. Assets rose 18% in the past 12 months but were down 6% from the all-time high of $2.4 trillion in June 2008.
The monthly TrimTabs/BarclayHedge Hedge Fund Flow Report noted that the hedge fund industry gained 1.2% in May, bouncing back from April’s 0.2% loss but underperforming the S&P 500, which gained 2.4%. In the past 12 months, the industry returned 7.6%, while the S&P 500 rose 18.0%.
“Funds targeting distressed securities are up 5.1% this year, outperforming all other fund categories,” said Waksman, who noted that macro funds fared the worst, losing 0.9%.
The monthly TrimTabs/BarclayHedge Survey of Hedge Fund Managers finds a plurality of respondents was neutral on the S&P 500 over the next 30 days, although bullish sentiment rose to a three-month high, and bearish sentiment dipped. The majority favoring developed markets grew larger, rebounding from a 15-month low in May. The proportion expecting crude oil prices to rise in the next six months hit a 17-month high, while the proportion expecting gold prices to climb rose to a four-month high.