Major hedge fund indexes were uniformly negative in January, although they still beat equity indexes. The Barclay Hedge Fund index returned -3.6% for the month, while the Hennessee Hedge Fund index returned -2.45%; the Hedge Fund Research Fund Weighted Composite index, -1.8%; and the HFRI Fund of Funds Composite index, -2.57%. The S&P 500 returned -6.1% , while the MSCI World returned -7.7%.
All but two of Barclay Hedges specialty hedge fund indexes were negative in January, with the Barclay Emerging Markets index tumbling -8.81% followed by the Equity Long Bias index at -4.76%. Sol Waksman, president, said in a news release that emerging markets had a spectacular run in 2007, gaining 23.57% for the year. Unfortunately, they gave back more than a third of that gain in the first month of 2008.
The few specialty hedge fund indexes that stayed out of negative territory in January were barely positive with returns less than 2%, with the exception of the HFRI Equity Hedge Short Bias index, which returned 6.7%, and the Macro Systematic Diversified index, which returned 2.64%.