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Hedge Funds Return 1.23% in March, Up 4.93% Year to Date, According to Backstop BarclayHedge

Encouraging Economic Indicators Fuel Equity Markets and Lead to Monthly Gains for Most Hedge Fund Sectors

The hedge fund industry continued its positive run in March returning 1.23% for a fifth consecutive month in the black, according to the Barclay Hedge Fund Index compiled by BarclayHedge, a division of Backstop Solutions. By comparison the S&P 500 Total Return Index gained 4.38% during the month.

For the year to date, the hedge fund industry was up 4.93% through the end of March. The S&P 500 Total Return Index returned 6.17% over the same period.

Gainers far outnumbered losers during March among the individual sectors tracked in the Barclay Hedge Fund Indices.

“Economic optimism continued to gain traction in March leading equity markets to record highs,” said Sol Waksman, president of BarclayHedge. “In spite of hedge fund losses resulting from the Archegos family office meltdown, passage of the $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill in the U.S. encouraged investors, as did an upbeat outlook on GDP growth from the Fed. Meanwhile, unemployment continued to trend downward, with new claims at one point hitting their lowest level since the start of the pandemic.”

The Emerging Markets Eastern European Equities Index led the way in March gaining 3.17%. Meanwhile, the Emerging Markets Latin American Equities Index returned 2.62%, the Distressed Securities Index gained 2.57%, the Emerging Markets MENA Index advanced 2.53% and the European Equities Index was up 2.49%.

Sectors losing ground in March included the Healthcare & Biotechnology Index, down 3.05%, the Emerging Markets Global Fixed Income Index, off 2.06%, the Merger Arbitrage Index, losing 1.76%, and the Convertible Arbitrage Index, retreating 1.25%.

The Distressed Securities Index was the year-to-date pacesetter through March returning 9.35%. The Equity Long Bias Index returned 8.96% over the period, the European Equities Index advanced 8.62%, the Emerging Markets Eastern European Equities Index was up 7.83% and the Emerging Markets MENA Index gained 7.71%.

Three hedge fund sectors were in the red for the year to date. The Emerging Markets Latin American Equities Index was down 3.75%, the Emerging Markets Latin America Index was off 2.51%, and the Emerging Markets Global Fixed Income Index was down 2.07%.

For a complete table of BarclayHedge Hedge Fund and Sub-Index results for March, 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 7,100 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.


Sol Waksman


division of Backstop Solutions Group

(641) 472-3456