New York (HedgeCo.Net) Citi recently released its Hedge Fund Snapshot for March and February was a good month for hedge funds both in terms of performance as well as growth. In terms of performance, the two equal-weighted across funds indices from HedgeFund.net and Hedge Fund Research were up 1.88% and 2.02%, respectively. These are the largest monthly gains since February 2014.
In terms of growth, assets under management rose $60.8 billion during the month of February with $48.7 billion coming from performance gains. That is the highest total for performance gains since December 2011. The $12.1 billion in net investor inflows during the month stopped a two-month streak of net outflows.
The strategy performance breakdown showed Distressed strategies led the way with a gain of 2.99% followed by Equity Long/Short at 2.8% and Event Driven strategies gaining 2.4%. With February being a pretty strong month for global equity markets, it isn’t surprising to see Dedicated Short Bias strategies as the biggest laggards, losing 1.37%. Two other strategies with subpar performances were CTA/Managed futures (+0.1%) and Global Macro (+0.48%).
Equity long/short strategies continue to be the most popular, garnering 27.2% of hedge fund assets. Global Macro strategies are second with 21.1% of assets. Ironically, the two least popular strategies were the top and bottom performing strategies for the month. Dedicated Short Biased strategies hold 0.1% of assets and Distressed strategies hold 1.2%.
Given the six-year old bull market, the Dedicated Short Biased strategies being the least popular is understandable. However, should the market enter a corrective phase or a bear market, these strategies will undoubtedly become more popular.