The best and worst fund managers so far
Get up to scratch on the pimpest portfolio managers in the land.
“You gotta risk it to get the biscuit!”
February is barely half-way done, and it is already shaping up to be a bloodbath for most systematic, CTA and alternative/exotic punters since the great quant catastrophe of August 2007. Vol-selling fiends like Chicago’s LJM Partners, The 1.2 Fund, London’s Man Group, Option Solutions, etc. have exhibited material losses and continue to take a shellacking. And not only them: a cursory glance at the best and worst performers (below) so far in 2018 demonstrates a distinct skew to the downside, with one of the worst performing players — The 1.2 Fund — down -60% thus far compared to the +14.5% returns for the alpha dogs like Macro Entropy and Horizon.
Surprisingly, the worst hit have been the nerdy quant, momentum, trend following and stat-arb spark-plugs — awash in blood unlike anything we’ve seen in a while since Feb 05’s volocaust shakeout and the ongoing endogenous/exogenous shocks stemming from VIX-plosions and the tremors in the Treasury/global fixed income complex. Ugh.
Here is the cosmos of some of the most recognizable, marquee hedge fund names, sorted by periodic returns as of mid-February. It is obvs that next to none of the funds were adequately ‘hedged’ for the mini black swan event (watch this) that happened a fortnight ago (except badasses Peter Thiel and Justin Borus, who made a fuckin’ fortune. Kudos!). And yes, it is hardly ironic that as recently as 3 weeks ago, the much tracked Tulip Trend Fund was one of the best performing hedge funds in the land, before experiencing an epic drawdown and is now hemorrhaging a hazardous -31%. The 1.2 Fund, based down in the BVIs and one of the worst risk managers in the space this year — is currently down a whopping -60.11%. They aggressively sold volatility via VIX-linked notes, futures and other oddball instruments and got gutted in the process. So did a bunch of amateur vol traders. Anyway, the proof is in the pudding. Fortunately, crash dynamics will diminish a bit going forward, but at VIVISXN we’re expecting another dramatic dislocation (-6%) to wash out the weaklings one last time before we get back to never-never land levels (our year-end S&P call is still 2810). But first a few more unicorns must barf up a lung amidst a backdrop of a sustained elevated VIX and an increasingly vexed macro situation (Russia and USA’s proxy war in Syria will definitely escalate; conflict with North Korea is highly probable; ongoing Chinese provocations in cyberspace and the South China Sea will rattle the West; and interest rate risk and inflationary pressures will damper global markets, etc.). Check out these eye-popping stats fresh off the press.
Data via VIVISXN + Bloomberg + HSBC
VIVISXN MEDIA – Hedge Funds + Alternative Assets + Volatility Trading + Risk Management