For those interested, Pro Shares has a new fund out that replicates hedge fund performance, ProShares Hedge Replication ETF (NYSEARCA:HDG).
I thought the purpose hedge funds was to get out-size gains so I could get a mansion on a bluff overlooking the Pacific. However, Smart Money says their function is to limit losses. That appears to be the case. They also seem to limit gains too.
I put the two existing ProShares funds and a few others mentioned by Smart Money on a 1-year Yahoo chart and benchmarked them against the S&P 500. Most under-performed the S&P 500 over a 1-year term, with 4 returning 5% or less versus 20% for the S&P. The best of the lot, CSM, tracked the S&P 500 closely, so why buy it? Another, RALS, underperformed, but held steady during the March 2009 crash.
ProShares Credit Suisse 130/30 -- CSM
ProShares RAFI Long/Short -- RALS
Multi-Strategy fund -- QAI
Macro Tracker fund -- MCRO
iShares Diversified Alternatives Trust -- ALT
Merger Arbitrage Fund - MNA
My spin: Not rushing out to buy HDG.
Just my opinion
ProShares Launches ETF as Alternative to Hedge Funds
Are Hedge-Fund ETFs Worth Owning?
"Of course, investing experts argue that hedge funds aren't always out to generate outsized returns; in fact, they're main job is to limit risk by balancing long bets with short bets and provide returns that aren't correlated with those of the broad stock market, ... "Many investors are under the misconception that hedge funds are designed to shoot the lights out," ....Investors instead should expect alternative strategies to underperform in a strong bull market for stocks,....Underperformance in good times should be balanced by outperformance in down markets...."