Based on a pool of 947 hedge funds that have reported their January performance to HedgeFund.net, the median return for hedge funds was 0.75%. Hedge funds with top-quartile performance showed an aggregate return of 2.03%, while funds in the bottom quartile finished the month with an aggregate loss of 0.20%, according to HedgeFund.net-PerTrac Universes.
Trend-following CTAs (Commodity Trading Advisors) and Macro managers started 2003 strongly, with the top quartile of each group returning 7.93% and 4.13%, respectively. In fact, only the bottom 10% of both groups lost money in January. Distressed managers likewise built on last year’s gains. In January, the top 10% returned 6.5% and the top quartile gained 4.5%.
Risk arbitrage managers followed 2002’s lackluster returns with another disappointing month in January, with the top 10% returning only 0.9% and the top 20% gaining only 0.73%. Risk arbitrage managers have struggled over the last two years due to a lack of corporate mergers. In terms of the broader markets during the month, the S&P 500 lost 2.74% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 3.45%.
HedgeFund.net-PerTrac Universes, available through HedgeFund.net, chart the roughly 2,400 hedge funds that report their performance to the Web site.