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Hedge funds flat in March, Fortress Investment Group & BlueGold Capital outperform

|Includes: Fortress Investment Group LLC (FIG)

Hennessee Group LLC announced yesterday that its hedge fund index was up just 0.23% in March and 2.35% year-to-date. In comparison, the Standard & Poor’s index was up 5.43% during the same period in 2011, but down 0.10% in March. Also, Hedge Fund Research, another Hedge fund research firm which aggregates data on over 2,200 hedge funds for its Hedge Fund Research Index, said its average hedge fund was up 0.31% in March and 1.99% YTD.

The strongest performers in the Hennessee index were technology (+5.2%) and healthcare-focused (+1.7%) hedge funds, while overall long/short equity funds were up 0.23%.

Poor performance was largely attributed to volatility caused by the earthquake in Japan and the widespread unrest and instability in the Middle East. Hennessee’s Global/Macro Index was up 0.32% but the Macro Index fell -1.33% in March and -1.29% YTD. Furthermore, The Hennessee International Index fell 0.50% in March, though was still up 1.32% YTD.

However, Fortress Investment Group was one winner in March, with its Asia Macro Fund up 3.5% in March. Fortress Investment Group’s Global Macro Fund was also up 1.8% and its commodities fund rose 1.5% in March. Notably, according to reports, all of Fortress Investment’s hedge funds recorded gains in March.

Another big winner is Pierre Andurand’s BlueGold Capital, which specializes in energy investments. BlueGold was up 5.5% for the quarter, far outstripping the average energy hedge fund, which was down almost -3% for the quarter.

Some notable losers include John Paulson’s Advantage Fund, down 3.10% in March and 1.24% YTD. Paulson & Co. ’s Advantage Plus Fund fared even worse, losing 4.4% in March, bringing its YTD performance down to -1.74%. Paul Tudor Jones’s Tudor BVI Global fund also fell -0.47%, and even Dan Loeb’s Third Point Offshore fund, one of the year’s top performers at a 6.78% gain over the first quarter, fell in March.