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Barclay CTA Index Gains 13.90% in 2008; Trending Markets Boost Managed Futures

FAIRFIELD, Iowa, January 20, 2009– Managed futures gained 13.90% in 2008, according to the Barclay CTA Index compiled by BarclayHedge, the best annual performance for CTAs since their 21.02% return in 1990.

“A gain of nearly 14 percent clearly sets managed futures apart from the losses suffered by most hedge fund strategies and financial markets in 2008,” says Sol Waksman, founder and president of BarclayHedge.

“The Barclay CTA Index ended the year with a sprint, gaining 6.52 percent in the last three months of 2008.”

The Barclay Diversified Traders Index put in a strong showing in 2008, gaining 26.50%. Systematic Traders were up 18.11%, Discretionary Traders gained 12.55%, and the Financial/Metals Traders Index rose 10.48%.

“The large majority of CTAs utilize trend-following strategies,” says Waksman. “These strategies do not attempt to predict future prices, but rather identify trends. If prices are going up, then trend-followers are long. When prices are going down, they’re short.”

“Strong trends in all major market sectors offered CTAs some excellent trading opportunities in 2008. Commodity prices rallied in the first half of the year and sank in the second half. Equity prices lost ground throughout the year, and bond prices rose.”

In December, the Barclay CTA Index rose 1.02%. The Systematic Traders Index was up 1.43%, Diversified Traders gained 1.28%, and the Financial/Metals Index rose 0.96%.

The Barclay BTOP50 Index, which monitors performance of the largest traders, gained 1.02% in December and realized a 12.87% return for the year.

Click here to view 28 years of Barclay CTA Index data.

Sol Waksman is an experienced media source, providing perspectives on hedge fund and managed futures trends. For quotes, commentary or background, call 641-472-3456 or email swaksman@barclayhedge.com.

BarclayHedge (formerly The Barclay Group) was founded in 1985 and actively tracks more than 6,600 hedge funds, funds of hedge funds, and managed futures programs. Barclay has created and regularly updates 18 proprietary hedge fund indexes and eight managed futures indexes.

Institutional investors, brokerage firms and private banks worldwide utilize BarclayHedge data as performance benchmarks for the hedge fund and managed futures industries.