HEDGE FUNDS POST A POSITIVE START TO 2003 - 02/10/03
February 10, 2003 - New York, NY -- The Hennessee Hedge Fund Advisory Group ("Hennessee Group LLC"), a global hedge fund investment consulting firm, which advises individuals and institutions on over $1 billion in assets, today announced that hedge funds produced a positive return of +0.72% in January, according to the Hennessee Hedge Fund IndexÂ®. Hedge funds were up for the month of January as all the broad markets were down for the month with the S&P 500 Index down -2.60%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average down -3.45%, and the Nasdaq Index down -1.09%.
"Hedge funds are off to a solid start in a time when the markets are still exhibiting some of the issues that plagued 2002," said Charles Gradante, Managing Principal of Hennessee Group LLC. "However, Iraq and its aftermath are certainly key concerns of hedge fund managers, with the success of [Alan] Greenspan's reflationary efforts and the weakening of the dollar
coming a close second and third," added Mr. Gradante.
Several hedge fund strategies embraced the New Year with an extremely positive outlook. The High Yield index was January's top performer with a return of +3.24%. Even as equities sold off, high yield stayed resilient, indicating that credit spreads are beginning to stabilize after the credit shock of the summer of 2002. January's second top performer was the Convertible Arbitrage Index, with a positive return of +2.51%, due to the
particularly good environment for convertibles. As the correlation between equities and high yields diverged (S&P 500: -2.60%, Merrill Lynch High Yield Index: +3.00%), Convertible Arbitrage hedge fund managers reported they were able to make money on their stock shorts and the firming of credit risk. Event driven hedge fund managers posted a return of 2.38%, the third highest in January, mainly due to successful distressed and high yield spreads.
"The steady credit spreads in a sell-off environment may be the first indicator that investors are looking past their fear of corporate fraud and seeing that balance sheet restructuring and solid fundamentals can be realized within acceptable risk/reward parameters," stated Mr. Gradante.
Short biased hedge funds managers posted a ?1.54% return, the worst performing strategy for the month. The rally in the beginning of 2003 caused many short sellers to abandon their shorts, leaving them out of the market during the sell off late in January. Many short sellers believe that rallies do not have any legs and have resumed their shorting in expectation of an invasion of Iraq within the next month.
"Whether you are a net long or net short player in this market, you must be a trader, not an investor, until stability comes back," concluded Mr. Gradante.
About the Hennessee Group LLC
The Hennessee Group is a pioneer in hedge fund investments and currently advises on over $1 billion of assets invested in 125 different hedge funds.
All portfolios are customized to fit each client's investment objectives and risk parameters. At the Hennessee Group, we emphasize investment advice through "hands on" experience and direct client access to our managing principals, who have over 50 combined years of experience. The Hennessee Group does not market individual hedge fund managers nor fund of
funds. The Hennessee Group's only client is the investor.
Hennessee Group LLC