Hedge Fund 2009 Performance Numbers ~ market folly

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Hedge Fund 2009 Performance Numbers

It's time to check in on how prominent hedge funds performed in the year of 2009. Don't forget that in the past we also presented a comprehensive post on 2008 hedge fund performance numbers if you wanted to cross-reference. A big hat tip goes out to the anonymous investors and readers who sent us hedge fund letters, Dealbreaker, & Marketwatch for all providing data.

Without further ado, let's check out how major hedge funds fared this past year:

Hennessee Hedge Fund Index: +24.85%
S&P 500: +26.5%

John Paulson's firm Paulson & Co
Advantage Fund: +13.75%
Advantage Plus Fund: +21%
Credit Opportunities Fund: +34%
Recovery Fund: +24.2%

Mohnish Pabrai: Pabrai Investment Funds
PIF2: +122.5%
PIF3: +125%
PIF4: +118.8%

Barton Biggs' Traxis Partners
Traxis Fund: +38%

Och Ziff Capital Management
Master Fund: +23%
Asia Master Fund: +33.6%
Global Special Investments Master Fund: +8.3%
European Fund: +16.3%

David Einhorn's Greenlight Capital
Offshore Fund: +30.6%

Dan Loeb's Third Point LLC
Offshore Fund: +38.6%
Partners Fund: +38.2%
Partners Qualified Fund: +33.3%
Ultra Fund: +44.2%

Peter Thiel's Clarium Capital
Fund: -25%

Marc Lasry's Avenue Capital Group
International Fund: +66%

Steven Cohen's SAC Capital
International Fund: +28.39%

Ken Griffin's Citadel Investment Group
Kensington Fund: +61.84%

Philip Falcone's Harbinger Capital Partners
Partners Fund: +46.55%

David E. Shaw's D.E. Shaw & Co
Oculus Fund: +8.7%
Composite Fund: +21.1%

Ray Dalio's Bridgewater Associates
Pure Alpha II Fund: +2.00%

George Soros' hedge fund Soros Fund Management
Quantum Endowment Fund: +28%

Paul Tudor Jones' Tudor Investment Corp
BVI Global Fund: +16.51%

Louis Bacon's Moore Capital Management
Global Fund: +20.6%

Bruce Kovner's Caxton Associates
Global Fund: +6.15%

Dmitry Balyasny's Balyasny Asset Management
Atlas Global Fund: +8.64%

So, 2009 performance results look to be the polar opposite of 2008 results for some firms. Many notable firms who performed poorly in 2008 did well this past year and have surpassed their high water mark including David Einhorn's Greenlight Capital, Steven Cohen's SAC Capital, and Philip Falcone's Harbinger Capital Partners, among others.

Sticking with the theme of polar outcomes, we want to turn our focus to the tale of two hedge funds. Mohnish Pabrai's hedge fund firm Pabrai Investment Funds executed extremely well over the course of last year as all of his funds returned in excess of 118%, beating the S&P 500 by a wide margin. Global macro fund manager Peter Thiel on the other hand, got beat up by the S&P 500 by a wide margin. His Clarium Capital was -25% for the year and lost 10% in December alone. The struggles continue for his hedge fund as they've lost money two years in a row now.

While Clarium often has thorough and insightful research, we've questioned whether their philosophical thoughts can be translated into executable trading strategies. Maybe they have suffered from market timing or investment vehicle selection missteps, who knows. What we do know though, is that they need to turn things around. Clarium does not charge a management fee and as such their firm's revenue is reliant on a performance fee (a.k.a. market outperformance). Since they haven't outperformed much recently, they haven't earned much money. Thiel is sticking with his venture though and the firm made enough money from their strong prior years in order to stay in operation. Assets under management at Clarium are now at $1.33 billion, way down from their peak of $7.3 billion.

Now that you've seen how many of the biggest names in hedge fund land have fared, make sure to also check out which stocks boosted their gains in a list of the top ten stocks owned by hedge funds. Additionally, head over to our compilation of 2008 hedge fund performance numbers if you want to compare how funds did on a year over year basis. Many thanks to those of you who helped compile this list. If you've got more prominent hedge fund performance numbers for 2009, comment below or send them our way:

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