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9 Sep 2009

Hedge funds attract $4.5 billion in Aug 2009

Preliminary reporting from Eurekahedge finds that August marks the 6th consecutive month of positive returns for hedge funds (up 13.1% YTD); hedge funds up 2.6% for the last 12 months, while the MSCI AC World Index is down 18.5% for the same period.

Net inflows for hedge funds reached $4.5 billion in August, with over 50% of the reporting funds attracting capital during the month.

Most hedge funds recorded gains averaging close to or over 2% during August, with European managers (2.6%) delivering the best gains, on average. North American and Latin American funds ended the month with gains averaging 1.8% and 2.1%. Asian managers, on the other hand, underperformed most others, with Japan-specific funds up 0.7% and their Asia ex-Japan-investing counterparts down 1.1%.

There were over 300 new hedge fund launches and 400 fund closures confirmed by Eurekahedge so far this year.

Hedge Funds Lag as Equity Market Rally Continues - Hennessee

There was good economic news in August, specifically housing and manufacturing data, according to hedge fund research specialist Hennessee Group.

"Government spending continues to drive demand, while the private sector has been largely absent. This dynamic is not sustainable,” commented Charles Gradante, Co-Founder of Hennessee Group. “In addition, equity markets are no longer undervalued. With September being one of the worst months historically, we are cautious of a pull back in the markets.”

The Hennessee Hedge Fund Index advanced +1.85% in August (+17.30% YTD), while the S&P 500 increased +3.36% (+12.99% YTD), the Dow Jones Industrial Average increased +3.54% (+8.20% YTD), and the NASDAQ Composite Index advanced +1.54% (+27.40% YTD). The Barclays Aggregate Bond Index advanced +1.04% (+4.62% YTD).

“Hedge funds continued to lag the surging equity markets, as we would expect given their short portfolios and hedges,” said Lee Hennessee, Managing Principal of Hennessee Group. “Managers have opened up their exposures to benefit from the market rally. However, given the uncertainty around the economy, most managers are looking to generate gains due to stock selection, rather than beta exposure as there is potential for a correction.”

Peak Oil Investing Hedge Fund Launch

Hedge fund investor, logi ENERGY LLC., has announced the formation of The Peak Oil Value Fund. Launched September 8, the new hedge fund is the first of its kind aimed at institutional and accredited investors.

“We believe that the effects of Peak Oil on the markets are a temporary Global Macro series of events” Larry Ortega CIO of the Peak Oil Value Fund said, “We only have a few years to take advantage of these opportunities.“
 
The fund's investment strategy employs five approaches: 1) Publicly Traded Equities and Equity Options; 2) Investment in oil in storage; 3) Investment in Oil, Gasoline and Heating Oil spreads in the Futures Markets; 4) Private Investment in Public Equities of Oil and Gas Exploration Companies; and 5) Private Investment in Private Companies or Oil and Gas Fields.
 
“Our superb models developed by our deep, complex team of expert geophysicists, mathematicians, oil professionals and oil traders have been able to predict and identify the fluctuations of oil prices and indicate when we expect prices to move based on both fundamentals of oil production and demand as well as storage, refinery processing, price action and economic utilization." Ortega said, "They are not perfect, but we’re extremely pleased with the results. We invest like Warren Buffett, which is we make our money when we purchase our positions at deep value, thus the effects of our errors are minimal. Our difference is that in most of our strategies we also hedge nearly every position we take.”
 
The fund’s goal is to purchase or make significant investments in oil and gas exploration firms for their reserve positions while supporting their production and exploration efforts with direct investment in their fields and then hedge position value, reserves and future production. The fund expects to invest based on fundamental valuation of each position they take.