West Palm Beach (HedgeCo.net) - Morningstar presented their monthly analysis of hedge fund performance for November and asset flows through October.
"Hedge funds have a long path to recovery ahead of them," said Hedge Fund Analyst Nadia Papagiannis. "November was a better month than the last two, mostly because hedge funds hoarded cash, but they are still losing money on their investments and facing the ongoing challenge of funding investor redemptions."
Hedge funds slid again in November, as the Morningstar 1000 Hedge Fund Index lost 2.5% for the month and 23.7% year to date. Hedged against the appreciating U.S. dollar, the asset-weighted Morningstar Composite Hedge Fund with MSCI Index fared better dropping only 0.8%. Hedge funds charge performance fees on any new profits earned, but those have been scarce since November 2007.
Compounding the funds’ pain, investors have responded to the lackluster performance by pulling more than $20 billion in October, which accounts for the bulk of the $29 billion withdrawn over the last 12 months from hedge funds.
Hedge funds of funds performed better than multi-strategy hedge funds this month, as the Morningstar Hedge Fund of Funds and the Morningstar Multi-Strategy Hedge Fund Indexes dropped 2.3% and 3.0% respectively.
November returns and October asset flows for the Morningstar Hedge Fund Indexes are based on funds that reported as of Dec. 16, 2008. Returns for the Morningstar Hedge Fund Indexes with MSCI are based on funds that reported November performance as of Dec. 14, 2008.
As announced in September 2008, Morningstar is also now calculating hedge fund indexes by applying the MSCI Hedge Fund Index Methodology and Hedge Fund Classification Standard to Morningstar’s hedge fund database. These indexes demonstrate the performance of hedge funds to investors who have hedged their currency exposure back into U.S. dollars. The MSCI Hedge Fund Index Methodology classifies hedge funds by investment process, geography, and asset class.
But the news was not all doom and gloom. Once again, the Morningstar Global Trend and Global Non-trend Hedge Fund Indexes performed well, funds in these categories experienced outflows during October, global trend funds saw overall inflows of $9 billion for the first 10 months of the year, more than every other category. Emerging markets fared poorly, as dwindling demand for commodities depressed the equities in commodity-based economies. The Morningstar Emerging Markets Hedge Fund Index lost 5.1% in November.
The Morningstar Developed Asia Hedge Fund Index’s relatively small loss of 0.3% was bolstered by the Bank of Japan’s interest rate cut and stimulus package announcement. The Morningstar Japan with MSCI Hedge Fund Index gained 0.5%. U.S. equity hedge funds performed among the worst this month, small capitalization equities took a beating in November, but most hedge funds hedged, as the Morningstar US Small Cap Equity Hedge Fund Index ended down only 4.6%, as compared to the Russell 2000 Index’s almost 12% decline.
The Morningstar Security Selection with MSCI Hedge Fund Index, with component funds that also take directional bets on equities, lost 2.7%. For the year to date through October, directional Europe and U.S. equity funds experienced significantly more outflows than other categories. Funds that kept a lid on market exposure fared relatively well this month. U.S. Treasuries across the board showed the largest monthly gain in decades amid poor economic data, fears of deflation, and a government plan to buy U.S. mortgage-backed securities.
The Morningstar 1000 Hedge Fund Index, a global, broadly representative benchmark for hedge fund performance, has return history from January 2003.
Editing by Alex Akesson
Editor for HedgeCo.Net
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