Forbes – The hedge fund crowd is licking its wounds heading into the Labor Day weekend after getting clobbered by the market. As hedge funds look toward the homestretch of 2012 they will have to pull off a sector-wide miracle to stop 2012 from being one of the worst years their rich industry has ever experienced.
The numbers are truly terrible. Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s investible hedge fund composite index shows hedge funds are up 1.85% so far in 2012. That means investors in many hedge funds are paying big fees for the luxury of getting creamed by the U.S. stock market, which has returned 13.8% in 2012, at least as measured by the Standard & Poor’s 500 index. Goldman Sachs has put out a report showing that the average hedge fund is up 4.6% in 2012 and that only 11% of the hedge funds it tracks have beaten an ordinary S&P 500 index fund.