Hedge Funds To Be Cut In Half?

Posted by Bull Bear Trader | 11/18/2008 06:35:00 AM | , | 0 comments »

Just about every day we get a new prediction / forecast of where the hedge fund industry is headed. Now Citigroup is reporting that total hedge fund assets may fall to around $1 trillion by the middle of next year (see Bloomberg article). This figure would represent a decline of nearly 50 percent from peak levels. Of possibly even more interest in the report is how hedge funds are believed to have raised cash equivalent to around 40 percent of assets in anticipation of both known and unknown (but expected) redemption requests. As posted yesterday (see post), this cash could be adding to daily volatility as funds allocate it on a short-term basis while waiting for redemption requests to slow. While this may be contributing to market volatility in the short-term, there is also an expectation that once this money (forecast to approach $1 trillion) does get deployed in to longer-term investments, it could be a strong catalyst for driving the market higher. Unfortunately, many investors are following the belief that it is still "too late to sell, but too soon to buy." Once hedge funds start getting back into the market in earnest, the move could be both quick and significant enough to begin thinking it is "too late to buy." Of course, whether that happens tomorrow or late next year is just a guess at this point. Daily rallies of over 5 percent that have failed to hold have certainly not engender any extra confidence for traders or investors.