“Investors pumped $38.6 billion into hedge funds in the first quarter, the best quarterly inflow since the first quarter of 2011, when the industry took in $47.9 billion,” said Sol Waksman, president and founder of BarclayHedge.
Industry assets climbed to a 5-1/2 year high of $2.2 trillion in March, according to estimates based on data from 3,375 funds.
Assets rose 19% in the past 12 months but were down 9% from the all-time high of $2.4 trillion in June 2008.
The monthly TrimTabs/BarclayHedge Hedge Fund Flow Report noted that the hedge fund industry earned just 0.02% in March but outperformed the S&P 500, which lost 0.8%. In the past 12 months, the industry returned 8.5%, while the S&P 500 gained 22.0%.
Equity Long Bias hedge funds, the best-performing category in the past 12 months, had a rough month. “Equity Long Bias funds delivered a return of just 0.2% in March, down from their six-month high of 3.0% in February,” Waksman said.
The monthly TrimTabs/BarclayHedge Survey of Hedge Fund Managers finds that more than half of surveyed managers are neutral on the S&P 500 over the next 30 days, the highest level in two years, and the rest are evenly split between bullish and bearish. The majority favoring developed markets grew a bit slimmer as optimism on emerging markets climbed to a 13-month high.
The TrimTabs/BarclayHedge database tracks hedge fund flows on a monthly basis. The TrimTabs/BarclayHedge Hedge Fund Flow Report provides detailed analysis of these flows as well as relevant topical studies. Click here for further information.
BarclayHedge is a leading hedge fund data vendor and one of the foremost sources for proprietary research in the field of alternative investments. From its origin as a research specialist and performance measurement firm, BarclayHedge has developed complete client services as a publisher, database and software provider, and industry consultant.
TrimTabs Investment Research is the only independent research service that publishes detailed daily coverage of U.S. stock market liquidity--including mutual fund flows and exchange-traded fund flows--as well as weekly withheld income and employment tax collections. Founded by Charles Biderman, TrimTabs has provided institutional investors with trading strategies since 1990. For more information, please visit us here.