Hedge Funds End Worst Year Ever

I’ve tried to explain to investors that much of the recent selling pressure in the market and in commodities hasn’t come from individual investors, but from battered hedge funds. Bloomberg has some statistics:

“Hedge funds lost more money in 2008 than any year on record. It may get worse in 2009, forcing fund managers to overhaul investment strategies, reduce fees and make it easier for clients to withdraw cash.

“The $1.2 trillion industry may shed as much as $450 billion in assets, or 37 percent, through market losses and client withdrawals this year, according to Morgan Stanley analyst Huw van Steenis in London. That’s on top of the $600 billion that disappeared last year and would leave hedge funds with $750 billion, the lowest since 2002.

“It’s hard not to be bearish in this environment,” van Steenis said in a telephone interview.”

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