So who's doing well right now?

kppw1517's picture
Rank: Monkey | banana points 52

Keep seeing article after article about what big name did poorly in October and November and I am just curious as to who's doing well? Are there any strategies that have been thriving in this volatility or at least had gains large enough to survive it?

Personally, I know there are a handful of event-driven shops doing well this year thanks to being heavily involved in the SKY situation. Just wondering if there are any funds on your guys' radars that are doing well?

Comments (96)

Dec 17, 2018

Odey

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Dec 17, 2018

Funny that he's a guy that fits both my SKY description and someone turning a profit in the downturn.

Dec 17, 2018

Yes but he's mostly a perma Bear. Big losses recently.

Array
Dec 17, 2018

Pershing Square having a big year, though most single manager shops struggling. Millennium and Citadel both up MSD/HSD ytd thru Nov, though I heard Dec has been brutal for both.

I only really follow equity funds. bloomberg tracks ytd perf for HFs across the board.

Dec 17, 2018

Those guys were reportedly up 1-4% at end of November. They could be down now.

Array
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Dec 17, 2018

Citadel and Millennium are market neutral. 4% move in a month is huge for them (Nov was worst ever), so probably end the year up low to MSD, which is great.

Dec 17, 2018

Everything points to lower. But who knows till release numbers. From what I saw in articles they were up max 4% end of November. And this has likely been a losing month.

Array
Dec 17, 2018

Element Capital was up 26.8% through the end of October.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/jeffrey-talpins-is-th...

Funniest
Dec 17, 2018

If you were short theaccountingmajor you did well. I don't know if you've heard but he was recently banned.

RIP theaccountingmajor

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Dec 17, 2018
TheArtMajor:

If you were short theaccountingmajor you did well. I don't know if you've heard but he was recently banned.

Ha I just started participating in the forum after a few years away. Not sure who he is, but why did he get banned?

Most Helpful
Dec 17, 2018

he majored in accounting

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Dec 17, 2018

He was a guy who had a major equally important to mine.

RIP theaccountingmajor

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Dec 17, 2018

Don't insult art majors.

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Dec 18, 2018

Mate I levered up 100x to take short positions on theaccountingmajor

thots and prayers

Dec 18, 2018

Looking at Bloomberg performance numbers for HFs right now thru November. I can't upload a pic from camera, file size too large. But here are some ytd numbers for well-known funds:

Pershing Square 11%
Renaissance Tech 11%
Third Point -5%
Jana Partners 2%
Coatue -1%
Millennium 4%
Citadel 9%
Point72 0%
Greenlight -28%
Balyasny -8%

Others that stood out (not familiar with most of these):
Element 26%
Soma Partners 24%
Gresham Quant 28%
QIM quant -41%
Krensavage 14%
Cadian 17%

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Dec 18, 2018

What function are you using on BBG to get this?

Dec 18, 2018

Bloomberg Briefs - hedge fund edition

NI HEDGEBRIEF

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Dec 18, 2018

QIM they say they are running quant models. But they were shooting lights out one year and the up months were entirely correlated with buy the dip months. Seemed like a leveraged buy the dip strategy. Works most of the time.

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Dec 18, 2018

it works when the market is in an uptrend, fails miserably in downtrends. But yeah you're right generally, since bull markets tend to last 2x or more as long as bear markets.

Dec 18, 2018

They had a really volatile up year a few years ago. Like snp would have a 3% range. And they would be up 10%.

Then would have huge down moves same time as stocks fell. It's entirely a guess but btfd looked like their game.

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Dec 19, 2018

This Pershing number looks like its through 3Q, the fund is at about +3% YTD through mid-December. Its been a rough few years for Bill.

From what I've seen the Two Sigma equity l/s funds are doing well this year.

Dec 20, 2018
penniesonthedollar:

This Pershing number looks like its through 3Q, the fund is at about +3% YTD through mid-December. Its been a rough few years for Bill.

From what I've seen the Two Sigma equity l/s funds are doing well this year.

Yes you're correct. Numbers above are latest available.

CNBC reporting Pershing Square up barely above zero ytd now.

Dec 20, 2018

Thats correct and probably on a gross basis.. LPs are probably in the red now

Dec 20, 2018

Those are likely dated. Citadel was up 9% going into October. They could be anywhere now.

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Dec 27, 2018

For multimanagers, these returns are rankings of their respective risk models: Citadel, MLP, P72, Baly

Dec 27, 2018

Does Citadel pay PMs based on returns residualized to 7 different factors or something like that? Are they the only ones that do this?

Dec 28, 2018
junior2012:

Does Citadel pay PMs based on returns residualized to 7 different factors or something like that? Are they the only ones that do this?

They pay you % of your P&L like any other shop. Your portfolio has to have limited $ exposure to multiple factors. That remaining residual is levered up, though will always have some factor exposure within limits.

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Dec 18, 2018

Lawyers representing investors who lost their asses are doing well in this market.

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Dec 19, 2018

Quants and alt data users are doing well

Fundamental stock pickers not doing well
Value guys getting annhilated
Mutual funds need to go away

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Dec 19, 2018

Wrong. Quant guys are not doing well. Quant funds are down 4% year to date and the average fund is down against benchmark indices globally, especially the US.

AUM for quant funds is rising, though - quant funds are managing more than 1T AUM.

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Dec 19, 2018

Guess the ones I know are doing well. Quantamental is my focus point.

Dec 27, 2018

i can't believe alt data ppl are doing any better than fundamental considering the basic alt data subscriptions (e.g., 7Park) are basically a requirement to trade consumer/tmt names whether you consider yourself fundamental/quantamental/mental...

Dec 31, 2018
yaguay:

i can't believe alt data ppl are doing any better than fundamental considering the basic alt data subscriptions (e.g., 7Park) are basically a requirement to trade consumer/tmt names whether you consider yourself fundamental/quantamental/mental...

That also includes long term fundamental guys like Greenlight and Pershing who are getting destroyed this yr. The platforms all get the data and trade on it, but these guys have a more LT outlook and theses on names

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Dec 31, 2018

Just curious when you platform consumer guys go around trying to hop to another platform, what do you say to get them to give you money? I'm still seeing these guys making moves, so there must be something they're telling bizdev about how their process is differentiated, and it can't be through alt data any more as you all have pointed out.

Dec 31, 2018

Great Q. Just seems like all the platform guys are doing the same thing. Personally, I look to go against the grain in terms of shorting crowded longs and vice versa. Just too many people doing the same things crowding into the same names.

Hard to get much of an edge trading short term.

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Jan 1, 2019

curious can your colleagues see what you're in? isnt it awkward to be shorting their biggest longs?

Jan 2, 2019
dontbugme:

curious can your colleagues see what you're in? isnt it awkward to be shorting their biggest longs?

Pod positions aren't available to other pods. That would create even more crowding. The fund is ok with it as it's a natural hedge if I'm going against other guys in the firm.

I have no issues shorting crowded Names for a few reasons:
-you'd be surprised how little work some people do, just go into stocks because their buddies are in them. By then, alpha is gone.
-a lot of valuation based shorts, which sometimes just fights ETF positions (not fundamental investors) without understanding fund flows. These never work.
-funds continue to shrink and fire teams, which means crowded positions will need to liquidate. You've seen super crowded shorts get crushed the last 3 months.

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Dec 31, 2018

Pershing are doing OK YTD, up around 11 net of fees%. Not stellar but a lot better than the past couple of years

Dec 31, 2018

Pershing is actually -9.3% as of Dec 24th and possibly closer to flat now after last week's rally.

Dec 31, 2018

Ahh gotcha, I've only been looking at monthly data. They must've had a horrible December so far, wow. Thanks for the heads-up.

Dec 31, 2018

Yeah Dec worst month for L/S equity funds since 2011. PS had just awful Dec.

Dec 31, 2018

That was an ugly low in stocks. Where anything a hedge fund would be long got destroyed.

They seem to have turned the corner and ackman is going back to what made him successful.

But I don't think there's huge edge being fundamental anymore under the metrics hedge funds get judged by now. The truth is anything on a 3-9 month time frame is getting priced on what quants and platforms are doing. They are the dominant flows. Now you might take positions on a different time frame but in that frame price action and your sharpes and factor performance will be driven by what they are doing.

I think two edges exists doing something longer term than those dominant market forces and perhaps outperforming but getting some nasty moves in your favor or against you in between or getting good at predicting how those guys would trade and taking smaller positions front running those guys.

Short term trading use to be figuring out how fundy guys position. Now it's figuring out how quants and platforms trade and derisks.

Array
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Jan 1, 2019

what sort of alt data do providers like 7park provide?

Dec 19, 2018

This has nothing to do with which funds are up but I found it interesting in the broader context of the generally negative discussions about HFs this year. I saw an article in the Journal a couple days ago that said that new HFs raised $28B during the first half of 2018, the most since the data provider (Absolute Return) started tracking this in 2004. Now, that being said, the article does note that $18B of that total went to just three firms (Point72, Michael Gelband's place and Dan Sundheim's place). But nonetheless, I thought this was an interesting data point, for what it's worth.

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Jan 1, 2019

From ZeroHedge: Greenlight ends year down -33.9%.

ouch

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Jan 8, 2019

2018 numbers coming out

(per bloomberg)
bwater up 14-15
rentech up 10
citadel up 9

of note, trian down 7.5% in december and millenium up <1% (per my firm)

anyone have other numbers?

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Jan 8, 2019

Can someone explain wtf Bwater does? And is Rentech hax?

Jan 8, 2019

The Water Coolest guys put it like this:

While other hedge funds are out here begging for spare change and turning tricks to put food on the table (hedge funds lost more than 6% on average in 2018), Ray Dalio's Bridgewater Associates returned 14.6% to its investors. This should come as no surprise as the Pure Alpha Strategy fund has an annualized net return of 12%. Of course, we're almost certain (read: not certain at all) this has nothing to do with the largest hedge fund in the world being a radical cult consisting of ultra-influential market movers.

Bridgewater seem to hit the global macro trend spot-on, time and time again. Whenever there is a big drawdown Dalio seems to be on the right side of the trade. If you should attribute that to them being the bellwether, or using very clever methods to identify trend shifts is hard to say. The place is a black box... although not as much as Rentech.

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Jan 8, 2019

I'd be curious to see what some of their macro views were and how they expressed them. I'm such a novice on all things macro that I always find that area fascinating.

Jan 8, 2019

It's probably like Bob Doll on steroids!

Jan 8, 2019

as long as it's not listening to mohamed el erian when I have a hangover, I'm good

Jan 8, 2019

Haha! I wouldn't want that for my worst enemy,

Jan 10, 2019

Listen to Barry Ritholtz interview Ray Dalio on Masters of Business Podcast!! You won't regret that. Ray literally waxes poetically about his macro/geopolitical views and even speaks to some broad hedging techniques he employs to not get hammered in a sideways/down market. Color me surprised, but a lot of it is just responsible leverage.

Jan 10, 2019

funny you say that, it's next in my podcast queue

Jan 10, 2019

I threw it on on the treadmill and ended up running 3x longer than I'd intended just to finish it lol

Jan 11, 2019

Also: let me know what you think, would be really curious to hear your take

Jan 11, 2019

started out strong but turned into a disappointing listen. I get the parallels to prior crises (wealth gap disenfranchises people leading to populism and a call for change), but he didn't really offer anything new, any solutions, and then the last 10 minutes or so (maybe less, maybe more) was him talking about political disagreement (which if you've read the hidden tribes study you'd know dalio is wrong), income inequality (as if that hasn't been discussed enough already), how hartford is a ghetto, etc.

maybe it was designed as a teaser for his book, maybe I had too high hopes for it, but it was kind of a waste of time. I know that's not the answer you wanted, but it's honest.

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Jan 8, 2019

I'm not sure their performance is that good. I've tried googling which isn't best resource but doesn't seem like they have been doing that well before this year.

I see up 1.2% last year. I see up $50 billion since inception with 150 billion in AUM now.

Would like to see a full report other than lucky this year.

Good performance early on when hedge funds had more edge. Not sure they've done much more than eking out small returns lately.

Do they even charge 2-20 or are the fees much lower now?

Also not sure on citadel number. I saw that report. But 9% was reported also before October. And all things were saying brutal last three months so I'm not sure that is updated. This might have been a reporter just pulling the last public statements which may be dated.

Bridgewater is obviously accurate.

Array
Jan 8, 2019

To have a fund, the size of Pure Alpha, deliver 14,6 % net of fees is more than solid in a year like that. I'm not a huge fan of Dalio or his books, but he has delivered an annual 12,4 % net of fees since 1991. You don't get to run the biggest hedge fund in the world unless you're doing a lot of things right. He might not have the smarts of Jim Simons or the relentlessness/greed of Steve Cohen, but overall he is definitely one of the top managers of all time.

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Jan 8, 2019

Best I can see it was down 2% last year thru September. 5-6% a year isn't anything special.

Pre-2007 returns and especially pre-2000 returns are useless.

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Jan 8, 2019

https://www.businessinsider.com/ray-dalios-bridgew...
Just so you don't say I'm spouting out bullshit. Those returns don't mean much to me.

Pure alpha 12% had recent returns of .6% to 3.5%.

All weather was doing sort of better and I think that's where the 14.4% return. Counting that is up like 30% in 5 years. And I'm clueless at what performance is correlating with. And I look at the distribution of returns and I have no idea if it's luck or skill. If they've been unlucky their not up more or lucky their even beating Tbills.

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Jan 9, 2019

You talk so much trash all over this entire forum. If you haven't cleared 20% a year net over the last 50 years then stop talking like you have

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Jan 9, 2019

My reply seems to have disappeared, so I'll paraphrase what I posted the first time.

You're saying pre-2007 returns are useless and completely dismissing any returns gained pre-2000, which is arrogant and naive, to say the least. Dalio and his CIOs have been crushing the market net of fees over nearly three decades and in three vastly different time periods (IT-bubble, asset backed securities/derivatives, quantitative strategies and HFT). They didn't go bust in the dot-com bubble, they made money in '08 and he has steadily delivered high returns for his investors. Beisdes, with a 75B USD multi-asset behemoth of a fund you will have serious issues with scaling your strategy, something your daytrading penny-stock portfolio doesn't have.

When you're holding everything from gold, cash and t-bills to swaps, options and EM stocks you're returns will never be stellar. However, as this year has proven, their strategy is not to maximize absolute returns, but to deliver steady returns to their investors with very limited drawdowns. This also makes sense if you look at some of their investors; endowments, pension schemes, governement funds etc. Given that he still runs the biggest hedge fund in the world should be proof enough that he is doing a very good job, as his clients are some of the most demanding you can have as a money manager.

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Jan 9, 2019

A lot of the great returns were achieved doing risks parity. Which obviously can't work as well today as it did from earlier periods as inflation was falling, yields were high then dropping, and valuations thru a full business cycle were increasing. Now that the 30 year has been settling in around 3% the gains from that trade should be basically over.

Besides look at the 5 year returns of 30% total. 15% for the 4 years prior to this. With two significant down years in that period.

He also was short $30 billion of European equities this year which worked out. These returns are not from running a multi strats type firm with tons of traders and risks protocols. He's literally placing gigantic bets and producing returns that barely beat a bond fund like pimco.

And saying pre-2007 returns are meaningless makes sense if those returns were largely due to one factor.

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Jan 10, 2019

Sure, some of his returns are from risk parity strategies, and no, they do not work as good nowadays as they used to. However, Bridgewater has continously come up with money-making strategies and/or adapted to a changing financial landscape. Not to mention, there have been countless of rising stars that delivered outstanding returns, with these said new strategies, before blowing up like supernovas. He has outlived all of these either by sticking to a formula that has seemingly worked or by foreseeing the implosion of these strategies and changing his own accordingly.

I find it fascinating that you have such extensive insights into his trades and the total AUM position. Firstly, it is impossible to know his net position in Europe and/or what kind of leverage they use. Secondly, if he did place gigantic bets on his investment ideas over 28 years, sooner or later he would go bust, like so many before him. That means one of three things; either Bridgewater has yet to be incorrect on one of their gigantic bets, his risk management is out of this world or you don't know what the :-) you're talking about.

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Jan 10, 2019

A). You admit their primary source of alpha is gone

B). European bet was in every major business publication

C). Performance has just been random. So there big return this year has been in pure alpha fund. Here is the recent return data I can find
2013 - 3.46
2014 - 2.48
2015 - 3.34
2016 2.00
2017 - 1.25
2018 - 1.93 (report thru October)
Full year 2018 up 14.4%

Oh great return history that looks like a great short-term government bond fund. Then makes 12% in 3 months. Not sure how anyone can look at this data and not raise some red flags.

https://www.yahoo.com/amphtml/finance/news/bridgew...
All weather may have been done this year. It's suppose to be a vehicle that invest in different assets. With all assets down this year except cash then it should have struggled.

All weather was up 29% over 6 year up until October with higher volatility.

Essentially Bridgewater has had one good quarter in all weather in the last 6 years and it's difficult to figure out why.

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Jan 10, 2019

A). I never said anything about alpha or risk-adjusted returns. Without knowing what's in the fund, their asset allocation, leverage etc. it's not even possible to say what they benchmark against. Most PMs have their own way of calculating value-added, alphas or whatever.

B). No, their "short position" was in every news outlet. It said nothing about what they were long. You could be short Italian Banks and long German ones because you're betting on a reversal or a spread to tighten/widen.

C). First of of all, you're linking to an article written by someone named Nina Zdinjak. Why don't you take a look at some of her publications from last year?

11 jobs with the highest divorce rates

or my personal favourite (from 2015):

10 reasons to visit Disneyland

Other than these Buzzfeed-quality shitposts I can barely find any of her previous work. I'm not gonna completely discredit her (okay, kinda) but even if her numbers are correct you cannot just post the absolute returns and conclude that the fund is bad (see above post for reasoning).

Let's agree to disagree on this one.

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Jan 10, 2019

I was just googling trying to find return data. That was the only article that listed yearly data though others implied returns in that area.

If you have a better source then please provide it.

Array
Jan 10, 2019

Bloomberg would be a great place to start.

Jan 10, 2019

Take that as a non-answer.

Array
Jan 10, 2019

I don't have access to a terminal atm. Quit my S&T job last year. If you log on to a Bloomberg terminal, use the HFND, hedge fund database you will find more reliable information on returns.

Jan 10, 2019

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-11/bridgewa...
Here's another source on returns. So they are right. (I'm not advocating the Jim grant piece)

Anyway your doing yourself a disservice not to be curious why a fund that for 5 years and 9 months did 1-3% yearly returns produced an up 15% quarter.

It could be a very useful strategy - low and stable returns paid with a tail risks strategy. Or dalio decided to leave his old strategy and place a huge short (great call but not sure how you underwrite something like that as investor)..

I think dalio gave a speach in Late January saying equities were just going to go up. If you are an investor you should be concerned when fund performance does something weird.

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Jan 10, 2019

On C), the nature of macro trading is that returns aren't always consistent. There could be periods of good calls and bad calls. The greatest macro traders typically make a killing when they're really right. Most of the time it is about limiting downside and picking up little bits wherever possible.

Not sure what you're talking about All Weather having just 1 good quarter in last 6 years...All Weather has been consistently up high single digits to low teens each year since 2009.

Bridgewater's assets speak for themselves, at $160bn with most of it from public pensions and a lot of university endowments, their investor base is one of the most stable. If you are ever able to read their daily observations, you'll see they conduct some of the most thorough research of all shops. Even if you don't agree with their conclusions, you know they did their homework on their macro investments.

Jan 10, 2019

No disagreement that macro returns can be volatile and random.

But I'm trying to explain their performance.

What generates low returns single digit returns with huge upside in bear markets.

It looks like a pimco fund combined with a tail risks strategy. Which would be a very interesting product.

Their real return (after inflation) was low vol and like 1% per year before a huge final 3 months this year.

The other explanation is they were running low risks for a while then Dalio woke up in October and decided he was bearish and placed a large trade.

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Jan 11, 2019

LOL....this is like owning some corp bonds, and then hedging with OTM CDX HY payers

Jan 15, 2019

I see on a Reuters article that while BW had that large disclosed European short on, the fund's net position in European stocks at the time was actually marginally net long. Perhaps they were going long/short different sectors of the European economy and hence why the gross short position is so high cause you need to larger positions in a market neutral bet.

Jan 10, 2019

incredible response - you are my hero

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Jan 8, 2019

Millennium up ~4.5% in 2018

Jan 11, 2019

how's exoduspt doing

Jan 12, 2019

Flat, +0.6% last year

Jan 12, 2019

F.

Jan 12, 2019

Not terrible, held up better than most MM in Q4 but also doesn't have a lot of equity exposure yet (mostly credit)

Jan 12, 2019

really..i thought it was mostly macro (and by macro i mean rates)

also this is their first year...

Jan 12, 2019
oumuamua:

really..i thought it was mostly macro (and by macro i mean rates)

also this is their first year...

Gelbamd was head of fixed income and took some FI guys. Maybe some macro pkusntheybhave quant as well. L/S equity was later to the game. A lot of equity guys hired are on garden til later this year.

Jan 8, 2019

Am I right to assume rentech is their investable equity fund? That would be impressive at that size.

I assume their partners only fund crushed it. But that's a lot my hft things.

Array
Jan 8, 2019

yes, their inst'l equities fund

Jan 8, 2019

BlueCrest up +25% this year.

Jan 11, 2019

platt is such a G...also they levered the fuck up cuz no more LPs

Jan 9, 2019

looks like things at AQR aren't so great

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-01-08...

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Jan 9, 2019

Rumor has it they were gonna cut a few heads regardless of this years result. They've had a lot of scholars/scientists that barely produce anything other than papers. The recent drawdown and poor performance for a lot of the risk-parity funds is the perfect excuse to cut a professor or two.

Jan 9, 2019

Yeah AQR got.....trashed. Equity market neutral was down 13 or 14% or something like that.

Jan 9, 2019
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