Hedge funds continued to underperform the overall US equity market this year. In the first six months of 2013, the S&P500 index is ahead of the CS Hedge Fund Index by over 10%. That is not entirely unexpected during a bull market however - as was the case in the 90s. Just holding short positions – whether in long-short strategies or as risk-reducing positions – should result in underperformance. The fact that the hedge fund universe includes credit, fixed income, and other non-equity strategies makes it difficult for a broad group of hedge funds to outperform in a bull market. Here is what the CS Hedge Fund Index breakdown by “sector” looked like over time.
Over the past 20 years however (since the beginning of 1994), hedge funds (at least as determined by the CS HF Index) and the S&P500 performance is nearly identical through Q2 of this year. Both indices are showing about 8.6% in annual returns. Read more »