Bridgewater misses the mark, but how do other funds fair?

Equities

Pure Alpha, Bridgewater Associates’s flagship fund, fell 4.9% in the first half of 2019 after being caught off-guard by a rebound in bonds and equities.

The drop of nearly 5% in the first six months of the year is one of the worst performances for investment legend Ray Dalio’s $150bn hedge fund in the past 20 years, the Financial Times reported. The drop follows a strong 2018 performance and, while Bridgewater did not comment on the loss, it is thought the fund approached 2019 expecting more turbulence and were surprised by a market recovery.

By comparison, the average macro hedge fund gained 5.2 per cent in the same period, while the FTSE All-World equity index rose 15% in the six months to June.

While Bridgewater’s fund has suffered a drop this year, it has suffered similar losses in the first half before and managed to turn things around by the end of the year.

But what about other top fund managers? Did they anticipate the rebound that caught Dalio offguard? Our Guru Blends are carefully-assembled baskets of shares that mirror the portfolios of top investors in a single CFD – take a look below to see how they fared in the first six months of 2019.

Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett is one of the most successful fund managers and is widely known as the Oracle of Omaha. He is the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway and, despite being considered technology adverse, his largest position is in Apple. He is known for his methodical, value-based style of investing.

Buffett favours quality businesses that have good valuations and potential for large growth.

In the six months to June 2019, the performance of our Warren Buffett Blend was up 51.77%, with particularly good performances in February and March this year.

Bill Ackman

An activist investor, Ackman’s style is very different to Buffett’s. He prefers to own large holdings in a small number of companies in order to get enough leverage to push through changes within the business. Through these changes, he seeks to release value for shareholders.

His largest holdings are in Restaurant Brands International, Lowe’s and Chipotle.

In the six months to June 2019 our Ackman Blend – which mirrors his portfolio – has had a staggering performance. It is up 95.89%, having had a particularly good February and March.

Carl Icahn

Like Ackman, Icahn is an activist investor. He has said in the past that: “My investment philosophy, generally, with exceptions, is to buy something when no one wants it.”

More particularly, as a contrarian investor, he buys unpopular stocks and then uses his position as a major shareholder to force through changes that deliver more value, often replacing the whole board of directors.

His fund has large positions in CVR Energy, Herbalife Nutrition and Cheniere Energy.

This year to date, the Icahn Blend is up 21.12% and has managed to overcome poor performances in February, March and May.

George Soros

Known as a maverick hedge fund manager, Soros is a short-term speculator. An investment of $1000 with him in 1969 would be worth over $4 million today.

Soros makes large one-way bets on the movements of currency, commodities, bonds and derivatives, speculating on whether they will rise or fall. He is widely remembered as the man who broke the Bank of England, in what became known as Black Wednesday.

In the six months to June 2019, our Soros Blend is up 31.99%. This is a new Blend for MARKETS.COM but it mirrors Soros’ existing portfolio.

Brad Gerstner

Brad Gerstner is the founder and CEO of Altimeter Capital Management, a hedge fund that focuses on technology firms.

His portfolio is dominated by United Continental and Facebook, but also features other big names like Microsoft, Salesforce.com and Alibaba.

In the six months to June 2019, our Gerstner Blend was up 1.33%. The Blend is recovering from big drops in February and March but bounced back in June.

David Einhorn

A long-short investor, David Einhorn’s strategy is to take long positions on stock that is expected to appreciate and short positions on stock expected to decline. The fund bases these positions on whether an asset is over or undervalued. Such is his influence, that the Einhorn Effect is a term used to describe a sharp fall in an asset that occurs after he publicly shorts it.
The fund has large stakes in General Motors, Brighthouse Financial and Green Brick Partners.

In the first six months of the year, our Einhorn Blend dropped 26.31%. As with other Blends, it saw significant drops in February and March.

Our Guru Blends allow you to mirror the performance of some of the savviest and most experienced hedge fund managers in the world with a single instrument. Find out more about trading our Guru Blends.

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