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What Makes Me Bearish? Hedge Fund Sales on the Horizon

Seeking Alpha – Investors pulled at least $43bn from U.S. hedge funds in September as market turmoil led to unprecedented withdrawals, an analysis by a leading research house shows.

The data from TrimTabs Investment Research – which was to be sent to clients late on Wednesday – come as hedge funds are working to prevent far bigger redemptions by the end of the year, when many funds give investors a chance to take out money.

Withdrawals can lead to a vicious circle in the markets, as funds sell holdings to return money to clients, depressing prices and prompting further redemptions.

The chief executive of a leading alternative investment manager said he expected the hedge fund industry to shrink by 50 per cent in coming months – with half the decline coming from withdrawals and half coming from investment losses.

Conrad Gunn, chief operating officer of TrimTabs, said the $43bn in September withdrawals would mark “the beginning of what we expect to be a series of outflows for the remainder of the year. We expect October outflows to be larger.”

The industry, which manages close to $2,000bn, has experienced outflows during only a handful of months previously, including a small outflow in April of this year.

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