Hedge Fund News: John Paulson, Marc Faber & Warren Buffett

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Hedge Funds Dodge Brunt of Selloff as Dalio to Paulson Gain (BusinessWeek)
Hedge funds held up better than global stocks last month, falling an average of 0.1 percent as equities slumped amid a selloff in emerging-market currencies and signs of weakness in China. Ray Dalio’s Bridgewater Associates LP rose 1.1 percent as of Jan. 28 at its Pure Alpha II fund, and John Paulson posted gains in all his main funds in the month, according to people familiar with the matter. Global stocks declined 4 percent for the full month, including reinvested dividends.

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Baupost Returns 15% (Finalternatives)
The Baupost Group enjoyed its best year in four in 2013. The Boston-based hedge fund returned 15% last year, Alpha magazine reports. The return easily topped the average hedge fund, which rose in the mid- to high-single digits, but was only half of the return posted by the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. One reason for the lag is that Baupost kept about 40% of its assets in cash last year, leaving it on the sidelines even as stocks soared. The $26 billion firm wasn’t thrilled with the opportunity set in the current market, and returned $4 billion to investors in December.

Eighth SAC employee convicted of insider trading (WestFairOnline)
An eighth SAC Capital hedge fund employee was found guilty of insider trading by a federal jury in Manhattan Thursday. The jury convicted Mathew Martoma, a former SAC portfolio manager, of illegally trading on confidential information with regards to a clinic trial for an Alzheimer’s drug. The deal earned SAC $275 million. With two counts of securities fraud and one count of conspiracy, a prison sentence of seven to 10 years is expected for Martoma, according to the New York Times.

Two Sigma Suspends Surveys of Stock Analysts (WSJ)
Hedge-fund firm Two Sigma Investments LLC has suspended a survey program intended to garner information about companies from stock analysts, following a similar move by asset manager BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE:BLK) last month under a settlement with New York. The New York-based Two Sigma decided to suspend its survey program in mid-January, shortly after BlackRock’s agreement with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman was announced. The attorney general’s office had issued a subpoena to Two Sigma last year, the firm said, as the state was taking a broader look at such surveys.

Hedge funds protect the downside in January (PIOnline)
Critics of the industry who cite increasing correlations between hedge fund returns and overall equity markets during the recent bull market will be upset to see they actually appear to be what their name implies – hedged. In January eVestment’s aggregate hedge fund performance measure was down 0.56% for the month. Market neutral equity strategies were up 0.22% and long/short strategies were down 0.28%. The S&P 500 returned -3.46%, while the MSCI ACWI ex-U.S. was down more than 4.5%.

Buffett Leads Money Manager Protege in 10-Year Market Wager (MoneyNews)
Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) CEO Warren Buffett leads New York money manager Protege Partners six years into their 10-year, $1.27 million financial market bet. Buffett wagered that Vanguard 500 Admiral fund, which tracks the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, would beat the average returns of five hedge funds of funds chosen by Protege, Fortune reports. The Vanguard fund rose 43.8 percent in the six years ended Dec. 31, compared with an estimated 12.5 percent for the five Protege funds, according to the magazine.

Hedge funds & the Japanese trade (CNBC)

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