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Hedge Fund Industry Significantly Outperforms Broad Markets Through a Dreadful Start to 2022


The hedge fund industry gave up a bit of ground in February, falling back -1.00% for the month, according to the Barclay Hedge Fund Index compiled by BarclayHedge, a division of Backstop Solutions.

For the second consecutive month, hedge funds outperformed the S&P 500 Total Return Index which was down -2.99% in February.

So far in 2022, the S&P 500 Total Return Index has shed a total of -8.01%, whereas the hedge fund industry is down less than half as much (-3.55%).

Most hedge fund subsectors were in the red in February, though seven managed to post gains. The Distressed Securities Index was up 2.66% for the month, while the Global Macro Index gained 1.18%, the Emerging Markets Sub-Saharan Africa Index advanced 1.10%, and the Event Driven Index returned 0.62%.

Other February gainers included the Merger Arbitrage Index, up 0.27%, the Equity Market Neutral Index, advancing 0.08%, and the Multi Strategy Index, returning 0.04%.

Among the subsectors recording monthly losses in February were the Emerging Markets Eastern Europe Index, down -9.44%, the Emerging Markets Global Equities Index, retreating -4.81%, the Fixed Income Arbitrage Index, losing -2.73%, the Emerging Markets Index, giving up -2.62%, and the Volatility Trading Index, off -2.56%.

The majority of hedge fund subsectors lost ground for the year to date as well. Among those bucking the trend were the Emerging Markets Latin American Equities Index, up 4.33%, the Emerging Markets MENA Index, gaining 2.12%, the Global Macro Index, advancing 2.02%, the Emerging Markets Sub Saharan Africa Index, returning 0.97%, and the Distressed Securities Index, up 0.83%.

Subsectors in the red for the year to date included the Emerging Markets Eastern European Equities Index, down -13.55%, the Healthcare & Biotechnology Index, off -10.62%, the Technology Index, retreating -10.20%, the Emerging Markets Asian Equities Index, losing -6.60%, and the Emerging Markets Global Equities Index, down -6.00%.

“Equity markets continued trending broadly downward in February, as the specter of war in Europe joined surging inflation and a lingering pandemic to form a potent triumvirate of globally-disruptive forces,” observed Ben Crawford, Head of Research at BarclayHedge. “Investors were already jittery, grappling with the prospect of all-but-certain interest rate hikes and the stress of price inflation not seen in 40 years. The Russian Federation’s unprovoked, full-scale invasion of Ukraine could scarcely have come at a worse time.”

For a complete table of BarclayHedge Hedge Fund and Sub-Index results for February, as well as historical returns, click here.

About Backstop Solutions

Backstop’s mission is to help the institutional investment industry use time to its fullest potential. We develop technology to simplify and streamline otherwise time-consuming tasks and processes, enabling our clients to quickly and easily access, share and manage the knowledge that’s critical to their day-to-day business success. Backstop provides its industry-leading cloud-based productivity suite to investment consultants, pensions, funds of funds, family offices, endowments, foundations, private equity, hedge funds and real estate investment firms.

BarclayHedge, a division of Backstop, currently maintains data on more than 6,900 hedge funds, funds of funds and CTAs. The BarclayHedge Indices are utilized by institutional investors, brokerage firms and private banks worldwide as performance benchmarks for the hedge fund and managed futures industries.



Janet Falk

(212) 677-5770