Hedge Funds: How the Smart Money Looked Dumb

TIMES – The ups and downs of the Dow are making Wall Street’s so-called "smart money" look dopey. Hedge funds lost nearly $300 billion due to bad investments in the first nine months of the year, according to an analysis of return data by TIME.com.

If the losses stand it would be by far the worst year for these funds, which are unregulated and open only to high-net worth investors, since their returns began being tracked in the mid-1970s. "It’s not going to be a good year," says Peter Laurelli, vice-president at HedgeFund.net. "We can be pretty sure of that."

The calculation does not include gains some of the funds may have made in Monday’s rally, but analysts say that won’t be nearly enough to erase the hundreds of billions of dollars the funds are down. "The losses should concern every investor because these are supposed to be the smartest guys out there," says Charles Gradante, who is the co-founder of hedge fund advisory firm Hennesse Group. "If they can’t manage their investments how is average person with a 401(k) supposed to cope?"

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