New York (HedgeCo.net)- Through the first four months of 2015, the U.S. Indices were not the best places to be invested. The Dow was down 0.79% in the first four months and the S&P and Nasdaq could only post gains of 0.25% and 3.43%, respectively. If you look at the chart below, the three bottom indices are the three main U.S. indices.
The fourth lowest line on the chart represents the FTSE 100 which managed a gain of 6.32% during the first four months of the year. Now the top three indices over the first four months were in Asia and Europe. The Shanghai Composite was the top performing index with an incredible 40.3% return in just the first 72 trading days of the year. The German DAX was the second best performing index on the chart with a gain of 16.82% and the Japanese Nikkei gained 11.86%.
What do the three top indices have in common? All three markets are benefitting from an accommodative central bank. The European Central Bank has enacted a quantitative easing program that is benefitting the German market, the Japanese central bank implemented their own quantitative easing program and the Chinese central bank lowered interest rates to spur the Chinese economy.
These strong performances in the foreign indices were reflected in the latest Hedge Fund Performance Report from eVestment that just came out. It shows that the best performing strategy for the month of April was the emerging market group with a gain of 6.28% for the month. Undoubtedly the performance by the Chinese market helped the strategy.
Another group that had an impressive April was the large global macro group ($1 billion or more in AUM). The group experienced a gain of 2.15% for the month and that brought the YTD gain to 3.5%. Being able to invest with a global reach would have certainly been an advantage through the first four months of the year as evidenced by the information on the chart above.
Despite not having any models that focus on global investments, the models on the HedgeCoVest platform were able to hold their own through the first four months with the top 10 models producing a gain of 3.2% through the end of April which is only slightly behind the global macro strategies listed in the report from eVestment. It is also worth noting that we are always looking to add new strategies as evidenced by the new models that were added this week and one of which does have a global focus.