Co-founder, chief investment officer
Ivy Asset Management Corp.
Garden City, N.Y.
Assets under management: $5 billion
Hot style: large-cap growth
Hedge fund managers are notorious for playing their cards close to their vests. Howard Wohl is no exception. Mr. Wohl won't say where he thinks the S&P 500 will be in June or the Nasdaq in December. He doesn't forecast unemployment or guess at the growth of the Consumer Price Index. If he has hot stock picks, he doesn't advertise them.
He considers such predictions "guesswork," and notes even experts get the numbers wrong.
What Mr. Wohl does do is invest $5 billion with 100 hedge fund managers whose styles range from long-short equity to risk arbitrage and distressed debt on behalf of Ivy Asset Management Corp.'s clients.
"Our goal is delivering returns better than long-term equities markets and achieving that with little, or no, correlation to stock or bond indexes," Mr. Wohl said. "As such, we do not gaze into crystal balls."
But that doesn't mean Mr. Wohl doesn't have some strong thoughts on economic recovery, on which stock sectors are likely to outperform and on how the dollar relates to foreign currencies. Mr. Wohl said even though equity markets have rebounded since Sept. 11, the economy might not immediately follow. Markets are a leading indicator of economic health, and as such do predict an economic recovery. But it won't be a V-shaped recovery, he said. In fact, the economy might not recover until late 2002, if it does so in 2002 at all. Inflation should remain low throughout the year.
Growth stocks are poised to outperform value stocks, Mr. Wohl said, as the pendulum has swung too far in favor of value in the past 18 months.