''Don't bother joining the hedge fund industry''

neink's picture
Rank: Neanderthal | banana points 2,376

Straight from Business Insider which I don't even like as a source for being too much reliant on click baits.

Yet:

Managers "don't get paid anymore," he said. "They work really hard hours, the stress is ludicrous, the amount of assets you are able to raise is not easy any more."

Many of these issues are tied to a feeling that the industry has passed its golden years. Hedge funds generally are not posting the out-of-the-park returns they used to, and many worry that the investors are moving their money elsewhere.

"The lower returns are by design," he said. "When I left [the industry] it was at that moment that the hedge fund industry started switching to taking pension-fund money, and the pensions wanted it to look like a bond. They want low volatility, 8% returns. So that makes the big mangers get really rich, like Bridgewater, Brevan Howard and all these guys that have billions and tens of billions of assets. But nobody else can make money."

"People aren't taking risks any more," Pal, the founder of Real Vision TV and Global Macro Investor, added. "The old days of Julian Robertson or George Soros making 100% returns have gone."

Can any insider here confirm any of this?

It's not the first time I read something like this, at least this year, so I simply assumed it was a tough year; if we stick to what Pal says however, it's a dying industry. What went wrong?

Comments (90)

Oct 25, 2016

Active management in general is under pressure... pressure from investors and regulators who want to see less fees, academics who point out that most active managers fail to beat their benchmarks, low interest rates and monetary policy driving down returns, a massive amount of money competing for a few compelling growth opportunities, etc.

This doesn't necessarily mean it's a "dying industry", however. Some argue these things happen in cycles, some argue this is a "new normal" in a low-return / slow-growth world... so compensation may not be as exhuberant as in the past and competition may be tougher, but I think the industry will find a way to adapt.

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Oct 27, 2016

Lots of great answers on here. It's all true: the business is tougher than it was, it's harder to earn outsized returns, get and keep capital, etc.

It's like the Internet bubble of the late 90s, not that many of you would remember back that far, but when bubbles collapse (HF was a bubble, and perhaps still is, given the return profile that many of you point out), people believe it won't happen again. But, it almost always does.

Sure, there's pressure on active management failing to beat the market, but that has been the case for 40 years. Investors who couldn't get enough HF just 2 years ago today are resisting 2/20 fee structures, looking for permanent capital vehicles, etc. but who knows where the industry will be in a decade. e.g. the biz gets harder, people exit the industry, that creates more inefficiency, that leads to a resurgence, etc.

The real thing missing from all of this is, however, is: What do you want to do with your life?

Is HF only a job that is interesting if you think you can earn your billions, or do you actually love the craft of "trying" to beat the market?

One thing to be celebrated when "career bubbles" collapse is that the people who are left in the business are there because they want to be there, not because they perceive "easy" excess returns.

Oct 27, 2016

This is spot on, IMHO...

Oct 25, 2016

I think the GS CFO said a couple quarters / years (?) ago that they were going to cut salaries by 10% and people thought that meant headcount by 10%. His response was something along the lines of "why cut 10% of workforce? I will just pay everyone 10% less".

I think that's what happens here except it'll be the opposite. There are a lot of funds that have under-performed the last couple years, whether it be too many people chasing too few ideas, monetary policy distortions, or the fact that we are looking at relative performances of active management the last couple years against a bull market (passive / long-only should outperform in a bull market).

I think this is more of a cyclical issue. Fees are going to come down a bit, but I don't think the HF model is dying. I do think that there will be a cleanse / wash-out of HFs so those that are left should do OK / better. So maybe my view is that instead of reducing comp, we get a reduction in HFs in my initial example...

But hey what do I know? Best of luck and happy hunting to those in the industry.

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Oct 25, 2016

93% of active managers don't beat their benchmark. ETFs and other passive vehicles have had a DRAMATIC impact the past few years. Everyone is having tons of redemptions and fund outflows. You can undoubtedly earn substantial returns but the managers that are capable of doing so are few and far between. MF and HF are in a very tough place right now because of this perception.

Even managers who do consistently beat their benchmarks are receiving redemptions. The business is very tough right now indeed.

    • 1
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Oct 27, 2016

This. ETFs have completely changed the landscape (for the better, unless you're among the unfortunates who pay their mortgage by middling the investing public).

Oct 25, 2016

Do you guys think there's an actual shortage of opportunities in the markets or it's simply a problem of herd mentality of Hedge Funds?

Oct 25, 2016

It's neither. There has been a pretty intrusive impact from the proliferation of ETFs, dark pools, and algorithmic trading. These has both created opportunities and taken them away. i.e. hardware has largely been out of favor so a it hardware etf sell off will sell both the good and the bad.

I think it's somewhat of a cycle. Certainly ETFs have taken so much capital out of the business. It's almost irrelevant how well the stock market does for active managers.

However, there's a very strong perception that multiples are "too high" simply because the market is back to somewhat new highs. Obviously if you factor in interest rates being so low that's not the case. Fundamentals look relatively good as well. But clients control capital and they control where it goes. Their ignorance is a blessing and a curse.

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Oct 27, 2016

I work at a decent sized AM firm(>200bil AUM) with a focus on FI. We have pretty competitive fees (~30bp is the weighted average).

We under performed for the last quarter 2015/first quarter 2016 but have been crushing it since and have surpassed the bench in over 80% of our assets YTD. We still see lots of outflows from the MFs and plenty of fee compression from institutions. Our AUM actually grew this year but our revenue is lower due to a lower weighted average fees.

My concern is for my career in the long term there just isn't much growth especially since I am BO/MO.

If I was already a manager I wouldn't care much but I might not move up for a really long time. My plan is to save up and start my own business. I am just pissed I wasted 300 hours on the CFA L1 but it could be worse.

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Oct 27, 2016

active management in fixed income matters so much, you just haven't seen it yet because we've been in a nearly 35 year interest rate decline.

with the lack of muni bond insurers, firms not keeping inventory, and the likelihood of rates either going up or going sideways, bottoms up credit research is going to be highly coveted. just wait for TLT to take a nosedive or credit markets to sieze up and CUSIPs start mattering and your AUM will double (assuming your shop is good), mark my words.

the math of bonds is against the index right now. TLT is up 15% and the yield is below 3, tell me mathematically how that makes sense. bond indexers are in for a rude awakening...

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Oct 27, 2016

Thanks for the insight. I agree and am more pessimistic about my department(IT/Quant) more so than my firm. If I do pass the CFA, I might be able to switch departments - I just can't get an idea of how likely this would be.

The reason for my concern is the size of my sub-department is 4x the average AM firms.

Oct 27, 2016

I would agree with the quote from Raoul Pal. Although I work at a traditional AM shop, I am in tune to industry news through Pension & Investments, Fundfire, etc. Hedge funds are getting slashed left and right - NJ, NY, CalPERS, are all cutting their hedge fund allocations. And rightfully so.

I used to walk by PMs at my firm and put them on a pedestal. Now, they're just regular people who pick stocks for a living. It's like, "So what, they're paying you $500k per year to beat the benchmark by maybe 100 bps per year over 5 years GROSS of fees." You're not saving lives, you're not innovating, you're doing marginally better than what an index fund will return and getting paid handsomely for it.

Best Response
Oct 27, 2016

couple factors at play here

  1. ETFs, underperformance, etc. has caused laggards without sticky capital to leave the industry and likely caused fee compression. My firm is one of the bigger distributors of alts and very few hedge funds command 2 & 20 from FoF and only a slight few can command those fees from us directly.
  2. we've been in a 7 year bull run largely driven by multiple expansion, low vol, and falling interest rates. in a fed driven market where the best strategy was to buy SPY, TLT, then go take a 7 year vacation, the benefits of active management nearly evaporate.
  3. funds get launched because everyone thought it was easy to make money in a bull market. I made a thread about Meredith Whitney a while back and I have to think that she was not an isolated incident. when you combine easy money from investors with a multi year bull market, it's no wonder why everyone thought they could be the next seth klarman (look at WSO threads for justification). more funds doesn't bode well for performance, so there could be some dragging down of average performance.

there's more, but basically my opinion is this: there will be times when active management is better than passive management, just like there are times when growth beats value and international beats US, it ebbs and flows. if you're not interested in your investments but hate paying fees, buy VT, never sell, just add money, and go to the beach.

however, if you believe, as I do, that there are certain strategies that beat the market over time (low PE, div growers, value, GARP, magic formula, etc.), and have the discipline and the interest to stick with it, I think you can do better. the important part is sticking with it. there will always be investors who think this way because they realize that people are lemmings and there are always opportunities. it will not look good all of the time, but it will look good over time. read "superinvestors of graham and doddsville," also read seth klarman's investor letters from the late 90s. no one would say he's a bad investor, but he looked like one for about 4 years (96-00).

finally, I often find that people who leave the industry are the loudest. I've never heard someone who's actively a manager saying "don't bother," it's because they see opportunities still and still think there's value. sure, he was able to retire at 36, but part of me wonders if he was really that good of an investor, if he'd feel the same way. he gets paid to get eyeballs on his website, so he needs to say things that drive traffic. always be aware of what someone's agenda is before you take their word as gospel.

in short, the industry will shrink as it always has, but active & passive management can peacefully coexist, hedge funds included. losers will die out, winners will carry on.

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Oct 27, 2016

Pure wisdom, "always be aware of what someone's agenda is before you take their word as gospel."

Oct 27, 2016

This is also spot on, IMHO...

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Oct 27, 2016

Have you ever thought about jumping to AM or HF?

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Oct 27, 2016

there once was a time, yes, where I wanted to work for tweedy browne, first eagle, etc., but with a non target, non business major, late starter on internships, it would've been an uphill battle. and candidly, PWM gives me the possibility of a much longer career with roughly the same lifetime earnings but a better lifestyle.

the problem is even if we had audited performance numbers (borderline impossible because all accounts are a little bit different due to client needs), and you're Capital Group for example. who would you take: a 30yo PWMer from a non target or a kid from Cal or Duke with 3 internships? you're taking the kid every time. he's less expensive and less of a risk.

sometimes I think if I retire early I'll just open up my own shingle, run one strategy instead of broad allocation (dividend growers + muni bonds), but that'd be about the extent of it. I just don't have the interest to do anything but PWM.

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Oct 27, 2016

I've been saying it for a few years now. The writing is on the wall. The industry is undergoing dramatic changes as a result of regulation and market evolution.

Oct 27, 2016

Public markets have become way too efficient to keep justifying a large number of hedge funds. There will always need to be some number of market participants that are focused on maintaining efficiency. However, as technology continues to advance, this number will continue to diminish.

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Oct 27, 2016

I agree. Let me add a framework that I think it useful when considering these types of questions: Think VERY Long-Term.

So in this case, think about how it has to happen eventually. Ultimately, competition will not allow outsized compensation. One can think of many ways this can take place and I think it is useful to look at all of them. At this point, the question becomes WHEN. If it will not happen in your lifetime, then do not worry about it. If it will, then you can make a short-term play to still make money or avoid it all together. Either way, you have to put yourself first and realize the industry will not stay the same and you cannot control that fact.

One more thing - another framework that is useful is realizing how all our information about hedge funds was from past successes and events. Stop to consider how much the world has changed since the 60's/70's/80's/90's/even 00's. Try to list them all - this includes the high public awareness of even what they are that exists today that we didn't even have 10 years ago.

Oct 27, 2016

While I work at a HF, my response in not apologetic purely for that reason. That said - posts like this are kinda silly because there are so many different types of Hedge Funds - lumping all strategies together makes no sense. Historically I think, and I'm guessing a trend that will likely continue, hedge funds out perform in down markets and under perform in rising markets. The markets are at all time highs - anyone makes money in such a scenario. Focus turns to growth / tech stocks, which are typically not what hedge funds (talking about value / bottoms up not macros / quant) invest in. The market is very likely heading towards a correction and hedge funds will likely out perform.

Its just so in vogue right now to be against hedge funds. Yet when the correction hits and the value investors out perform that discussion will likely switch back to how great the hedge funds are doing. All this stuff is cyclical.

Also, hedge funds are merely one small component of an asset allocator. An institutional investor allocates to hedge funds as an offset to its broader market based portfolio. It's the whole efficient frontier concept and hedge funds play a role in that allocation. Over the long term having hedge fund allocations is likely smarter than not given a large invested portfolio. No one is purely invested in hedge funds they are a diversifier.

While 2/20 may be a bit steep but if you know anything about hedge funds no one really gets 2/20. Any LP of size negotiates lower fees. Maybe if you're the best of the best you can demand that but most funds that advertise as 2/20 definitely are not pulling in 2/20 across all investors - some but not all.

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Oct 27, 2016

Growth and tech stocks are some of the most crowded hedge fund names right now (FANG comes to mind)

Oct 27, 2016

Hedge funds will be around. Like the financial markets are around after a big sell-off. Sure the industry has had a bad year due to tough macro conditions, the oil slump, the volatility and whatnot but that doesn't mean the whole industry is doomed. There will always be managers in the hedge fund business who will generate alpha over the long stretches of time, all things considered.

Oct 27, 2016

Hedge funds will continue to exist, I think however certain strategies are overcrowded and you'll see a thinning of the ranks, L/S comes to mind. With that said the market isn't efficient across all areas, but these are increasingly smaller niches and will be nigh impossible for big funds to exploit.

Oct 27, 2016

Stop reading too much news of a certain kind, it affects your judgement. This is all negative, we need to hear from the other perspective.

Absolute truths don't exist... celebrated opinions do.

Oct 27, 2016

ke18sb raised an important point... Often times articles like this will call everything under the sun a "hedge fund". I'm sure most can't even differentiate a hedge fund from a mutual fund, let alone understand how diverse and uncorrelated some strategies are.

Some points deserve attention, and there are indeed questions to be raised about the industry, but saying hedge funds are doomed every bad year is just media sensationalism. The strategies of today might not be the strategies of tomorrow, deep structural and operational changes might have to take place, but I don't believe hedge funds as an investment vehicle are at risk in the near future.

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Oct 27, 2016

I think the hedge fund industry is here to stay. Is it going to be harder to create alpha? Yes...But is it going to become obsolete? I don't think so. I think the reducing that 2% AUM fee will be beneficial, this will be less of a stab to an LP's heart during rough markets.

When I pull a deal off the table, I leave Nagasaki behind

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Oct 27, 2016

Everything that's going on is perfectly natural and constitutes a welcome and overdue adjustment... There is no reason to get overly excited and expect it's all doom 'n gloom forever.

Oct 27, 2016

bump

Oct 27, 2016

Hedge funds are going to do well. Right now there are too many funds which will eventually close down, for good. Clicks hungry media is trying to paint a painful picture where every hedgie is having a nightmare but that is miles away from the reality.

Oct 27, 2016

Not the first one, not the last one either. Plenty of funds closed down in the last 2 years that were household names or returned outside investor capital to become family offices. Wouldn't read too much into this personally.

Oct 27, 2016

IT'S ABSOLUTE CHAOS!

Oct 27, 2016

HFs likely to get hit with the extinction of carried interest exception: not good.

Oct 27, 2016

Fees will be based on the returns earned. The lower the amount returned, the lower the percentage, it wont be 20% of the 5% earned on capital. It might end up being 5% on 5%.

Oct 27, 2016

I think SZ skews to the lower end because larger funds typically don't allow/encourage analysts to independently post ideas publicly or maintain a presence on places like SZ.

That said, I also do agree that there are relatively very few guys pulling in 500k+ in the hedge fund world. It's certainly not a golden ticket to a guaranteed seven-figure income as many people here (usually college students or 1st year IBD analysts) would have one believe.

I like this quote: investment banks are set up to make a thousand people millionaires; hedge funds are set up to make one person a billionaire.

Oct 27, 2016

There are thousands of funds out there and most are tiny. The people there aren't making huge sums. That is a large proportion of the people in the industry.

Oct 27, 2016

some unknown blogger who does not even identify themselves? they don't put down much fact mainly unproven theories about things they may not even have any expertise in understanding..

there is definitely a bubble in hedge funds, but it does not mean there is not a future for the industry.

what are you worried about exactly?

Oct 27, 2016

Like any other profitable industry, a flood of new entrants came onto the scene, including those who really didn't belong in it. They prospered so long as the markets remained positive.

As a result of the last few years' events, the unprofitable ones will close up shop, and the profitable ones will remain. Hedge funds are not as mysterious as they seem...it's just like any other business.

I'm more inclined to agree with the article that more investor money may go into hedge funds as time goes on and markets recover. After a while, return on capital overrides the need for return of capital.

Oct 27, 2016

I remember when hedge funds were "the investment vehicles for the rich" which was supposed to be exclusive and had great returns.

Peasants thought "why can't I have a piece of that action?"

Pension fund money was put into them, they were made almost into de facto mutual funds and anybody who didn't have money in there was a retarded gimp...with fewer regulations the hedge fund managers could make money they way Peter Lynch, Suzie Orman, and Jim Cramer could only dream of...

Then quite a few imploded..."Uncle Sam, Why the FUCK did I lose money in this game?!? Why The FUCK are these not as regulated as mutual funds?!?"

And here we are, one CDO/credit crash later...

Oct 27, 2016

As an intern in a large fund of hedge funds group, I can tell you that hedge funds aren't going anywhere. Sure, there were a lot of redemptions this past year and the crappy funds with poor risk management collapsed. If anything, the crash just reminded existing funds of proper risk management and portfolio allocation. There are still new funds opening up shop now, and there are often funds shutting down.

I think it's a misconception to think that the hedge fund industry will be dead. A hedge fund is simply a large investment pool with professionals making investments in different asset classes. As long as the stock markets, bond markets, etc. exist, hedge funds will remain.

Oct 27, 2016

Hedge funds are absolutely not going away. However, look for the term "hedge fund" to become slightly less prevalent as the negative connotations of the last few years do not encourage managers to use that term boastfully. In fact, the same guys that used to tell all the "laypeople" they were hedge fund managers now say "alternative asset managers". Both terms have been around for awhile, but the latter is more inoquous.

There may be some consolidation in terms of the number of funds over the next several years, but AUM should probably remain relatively steady (and of course increase with a positive correlation to the equity/commodity markets).

Oct 27, 2016

"Take 10,000 money managers, each of whom has a 50% probability of making $10K in a year, and a 50% probability of losing $10K in a year. Any manager who loses $10K in a year gets tossed out of the pool of remaining managers.

At the end of the year, we expect approximately 5,000 money managers will be up $10K , while 5,000 money managers will permanently leave the pool of money managers.

When we run the game for a second year, 2,500 managers remain, each of whom has had a string of 2 good 'up' years. After three years we have 1,250 managers, after four years we have 625 managers, and after five years we have 313 managers. In Taleb's experiment, these 313 managers have managed to post 5 brilliant years in a row, (with no down years!), although we know this is due to the pure dumb luck of the experiment."

-Taleb

Oct 27, 2016
wallstreetballa:

"Take 10,000 money managers, each of whom has a 50% probability of making $10K in a year, and a 50% probability of losing $10K in a year. Any manager who loses $10K in a year gets tossed out of the pool of remaining managers.

At the end of the year, we expect approximately 5,000 money managers will be up $10K , while 5,000 money managers will permanently leave the pool of money managers.

When we run the game for a second year, 2,500 managers remain, each of whom has had a string of 2 good 'up' years. After three years we have 1,250 managers, after four years we have 625 managers, and after five years we have 313 managers. In Taleb's experiment, these 313 managers have managed to post 5 brilliant years in a row, (with no down years!), although we know this is due to the pure dumb luck of the experiment."

-Taleb

This is the mutual fund business model, btw -- Fidelity opens 100 new funds and closes the winners, and at the end of the day they have tons of 5 star funds left over. This works really substantially less well for hedge funds running one portfolio.

But more importantly, we don't know that as Taleb suggests, because his experiment assumes that all managers have equal skill and equal access to information making it truly a random sample where performance is truly based on luck. We know that is not true in a real world scenario.

The most succinct way to express reality is to say that most funds don't have any edge most of the time and ARE subject to a random distribution, but this is not true of all funds. If you were supreme dictator of the universe and could objectively measure a fund's competitive advantage, and had the power to immediately shutter all funds that don't have any advantage at all, 80-90% of hedge funds would be out of business over night. But that's still a pretty good amount of hedge funds left when the dust settles.

Oct 27, 2016
wallstreetballa:

"Take 10,000 money managers, each of whom has a 50% probability of making $10K in a year, and a 50% probability of losing $10K in a year. Any manager who loses $10K in a year gets tossed out of the pool of remaining managers.

At the end of the year, we expect approximately 5,000 money managers will be up $10K , while 5,000 money managers will permanently leave the pool of money managers.

When we run the game for a second year, 2,500 managers remain, each of whom has had a string of 2 good 'up' years. After three years we have 1,250 managers, after four years we have 625 managers, and after five years we have 313 managers. In Taleb's experiment, these 313 managers have managed to post 5 brilliant years in a row, (with no down years!), although we know this is due to the pure dumb luck of the experiment."

-Taleb

This is correct, but this exact same thought experiment was around decades before Nassim Taleb's hocus pocus became popular

Oct 27, 2016
Oct 27, 2016

Your argument seems to be that one shouldn't work for a hedge fund that has no alpha. Derp.

Oct 27, 2016

The days of hedge funds delivering alpha are over, at least re: hedge funds still accepting investors. There is a beta in one form or another for pretty much any hedge fund strategy, and it's nearly impossible to define the alpha there once you've identified the beta.
The trend toward lower fees, I believe, is going to be inevitable as people realize they're not getting alpha. Beta is fine and all, but 2 and 20 is dying a slow death.

Oct 27, 2016

One way to roughly to see how a manger's strategy performs, is to evaluate a manager's strategy relative to his own expectations for it. If a manager thinks his fixed income arb strategy will generate a 10% return with 5% tracking error (ie., +/-5% of the 10% target 68% of the time), and the results are consistent with this, then the performance of the S&P 500 equity index is irrelevant. As somebody mentioned, it is pretty unsurprising that HF's underperform the S&P in years where the S&P kills it. Their "streams of alpha" do not necessarily correspond to the S&P and it would make little sense to benchmark certain types of strategies against the S&P. This is not to say that most hedge funds generate alpha--most do not--but to say that judging them relative to the S&P in a given year is pretty silly. Depending on their correlation to the S&P, even if they underperform it in a given years, due to the possible diversification benefits of low-correlation funds, a HF may still be a good addition to a portfolio even with lower returns.

Oct 27, 2016
Oct 27, 2016
Oct 27, 2016

I can't really speak on the past, but most of the fund launches of 2012 have been:

1) Long/Short Equities
2) Long Only Equities
3) Credit Driven/Distressed Debt Funds

I've seen maybe one or two fund launches based on commodities (CTAs) and barely any fixed income.

Oct 27, 2016

They will fade into Bolivian.

Oct 27, 2016

Such a bloody lazy question really shouldn't be justified with a serious answer... but since I was reading this at the same time, go check out http://abnormalreturns.com/finance-blogger-wisdom-...

Oct 27, 2016

only the strong will survive...

Oct 27, 2016

On a completely different note ATLANTIS is real.

http://www.atlantis.com/

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

Oct 27, 2016

0.5 and 10 becomes closer to the norm.

Oct 27, 2016

that low? isnt it 1.5 and 15 on avg now?

Oct 27, 2016

Yes, and I just made a possibly naive extrapolation cause in the word of Lamb Of God, "It's only getting worse."

Oct 27, 2016

Cheaper rates for sure. A weak comparison, but look at ETF rates/performance vs. hedge fund rates/performance( with the exception of the 30% annual return managers). Also, IMO if these activist funds keep doing what they're doing and making the news more frequently, I think we'll start to see a lot more regulation on what they can and can't do.

Oct 27, 2016

Well, looking at recent performance id say FOF will disappear and investors will put their money in different alternative investments. Real estate has obviously performed well since the crash. Looks that Mexico now offers a REIT type product that gives capital appreciation and hefty divs....

Oct 27, 2016

The HF industry has gone through numerous downturns over the past 50 years (the first was in the early 70's where the majority of HFs were washed out). It is a bit disconcerting that HFs were down approx 5% last year and the "underperformance spread" so far this year has been one of the highest over the past 20 years.

Oct 27, 2016

As jmdude says its a cycle in the HF world. When its all nice and rosy you'll see more prop up, and then when you got some tough times in the overall economy, investors shy away and you'll see more of the redemption. Just look at the inflow/outflow numbers by asset classes. Equity is getting killed, and bonds keeps getting more $$ pumped into them. SP500 trading volume is like half of 2007.

Oct 27, 2016
ladubs111:

As jmdude says its a cycle in the HF world. When its all nice and rosy you'll see more prop up, and then when you got some tough times in the overall economy, investors shy away and you'll see more of the redemption. Just look at the inflow/outflow numbers by asset classes. Equity is getting killed, and bonds keeps getting more $$ pumped into them. SP500 trading volume is like half of 2007.

There has also been a long-term secular trend going on since 2008 where the Bogleites have been gaining a lot of influence and folks have been putting their money into index funds.

Oct 27, 2016

It's never been about hedge funds being in or out of style per se. When an endowment manager redeems from shitty hedge fund XYZ Capital they usually are doing it because they have a different investment in mind. Rarely is it just to hold the cash for some extended period of time. And normally that different investment is going to be another asset manager and very likely another hedge fund, just a better one for their needs at the moment. Like any other investment, the way I see it is as ignoring the macro and focusing on the business itself to see what direction it's going to be heading. Good funds with good track records don't die because broader market conditions change. Shitty funds die quick. The only problem with good funds is they tend to shutter themselves once their managers get so rich they don't know what to do with themselves anymore.

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Oct 27, 2016

The market has been macro-driven for the past few years. It is hard to analyze companies in markets propped up by quantitative easing, as Einhorn and Klarman have suggested. Consumer preferences have been altered. Although government actions have always somewhat driven returns, the entire market now moves with Fed/ECB announcements.

That said, I am optimistic for the next few years. We should be coming out of a secular bear market (please don't let us be Japan...) and current inflows to index funds and bonds should create opportunities for active managers.

Oct 27, 2016

I don't know the exact number but I believe the net amount going into Hedge Funds this year is positive. HF industry is pretty good with respect to Darwinist logic, you do poorly you're out. Sounds like you buddy is seeing only part of the bigger picture. Like BH said, flows will follow performance and the AUM will leave the shitty HF guys and go to the performers.

And with the Buffet statement, it's difficult to compare the current market to what it was like when Buffett soft closed his 100mm Fund.

Business model of HF's is not being threatened. You shouldn't compare a index to a HF's returns, that's not what they sell them selves on. They sell them selves on their sharp ratio, and their VaR. They pitch them selves to Pension funds, endowment funds who are looking to diversify their holdings across asset classes to reduce the risk in the portfolio. Also, the bigger the AUM of the hedge fund the safer these endowment fund feels giving them money, because they see them as less likely to blow up.

Oct 27, 2016

The model definitely was shaken post 2008. Pre crisis family offices and FoFs held the majority of HF assets and were far more comfortable in investing in smaller managers (<$5 billion) and nichier strategies. Post crisis FoFs have seen assets shrink, family offices are more tepid in investing and HNWs either have eliminated their HF allocations or are investing in UCITS/40 Accs/etc (for the most part). Pensions/Foundations/Endowments have largely picked up the slack as they begin to allocate more to alternatives and go direct more (pull $ from FoFs and invest directly in HFs). As these institutional allocators put forth >$50mln tix they have (usually) more sway with the managers when it comes to fees. Because of this trend and others the fee model is changing and we're seeing the 2/20 structure slowly evolve to 1.5/15... The industry is thus changing to a degree

Oct 27, 2016

talk about growth

Oct 27, 2016
Oct 27, 2016

Thanks Mr Pink

Say Hi to Mr Wolf for me

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The time is now, seize the day ...