Rocky Markets Favor Shorting Hedge Strategies

May 16, 2002 ( - A rough month for US equities continued to play to hedge fund strengths, with the Average U.S. Hedge Fund rising 0.2% net in April, according to global hedge fund advisory firm Van Hedge Fund Advisors International.

April’s gain increases the year-to-date performance of the Average U.S. Hedge Fund to 1.6% net, a return that also beats the three major U.S. equity indices.

The report noted that of all the hedge funds included in the April index, over 94% beat the S&P 500 for the month while 65% were profitable.

With stock markets slumping, it’s not surprising that short-selling strategies fared well.  For April, the best performing strategies were:

  • U.S. Short Selling, which had net returns of 5.4%
  • Offshore Short Selling which gained 5.1%

However, year to date through April, US Emerging Markets funds lead with an average 11.2% net gain, though US Short Selling funds and Offshore Short Selling funds are close behind with average net returns of 10.4% and 8.4%, respectively.

Other strategies returned:

  • Aggressive Growth, down 2.7%
  • Distressed Securities, up 1.2%
  • Emerging Markets, up 1.8%
  • Fund of Funds, up 0.3%
  • Income, up 1.1%
  • Macro strategies, up 3.4%
  • Market Timing, down 1.3%

The Van Hedge Fund Indices are based on information received (and not audited or independently verified) from the hedge funds in an affiliate’s databases and may not be representative of all hedge funds. The April Index was created using a sample of 710 funds.