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Hedge Fund News: Steven Cohen, The Blackstone Group L.P. (BX), JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM)

Hedge funds: Goal of stability remains (FT)
There is increasing pressure on the hedge fund industry to justify its existence. With a volatile macroeconomic climate showing no signs of calming – and big, long-term questions pressing over allocations to both equities and bonds – institutional investors have never been in greater need of a diversified, low-volatility compliment to their portfolios. The challenge for hedge funds, many now equally pressured by the unforgiving investing climate, is to fulfil that mandate. Post-2008 has hardly been a golden period: according to HFR, the research house, the average hedge fund manager has returned just 34 per cent in the past four years. Much of that is attributable to a 20 per cent return in 2009 as global assets rallied.

Next Big Thing? Hedge Funds for the Masses (MoneyNews)
More financial firms are introducing hedge funds, as well as hedge-fund-like products, for small investors. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS) became the first big investment bank with a multi-manager hedge fund for retail investors, according to CNBC, when it launched a fund in May, raising $58 million within two months. And now several other investment banks are working on hedge funds with minimum investments that might be as low as $1,000, opening the funds to a broad swath of small investors. …Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS)’s new fund comes with a 2 percent management fee but lacks the common hedge fund 20 percent performance fee and typical hedge fund restrictions against withdrawals.

JIM ROGERS: Gold Mining Stocks Face 2 Major Headwinds (BusinessInsider)
As gold prices plunged, gold mining stocks have taken a beating too. We saw a brutal sell-off on Friday, and the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF has been down 49.5% year-to-date. In the second of our two-part interview with Jim Rogers, the commodities guru told us about the biggest headwinds for gold miners. Also, he’s not convinced that the commodities supercycle has ended just yet. …Jim Rogers: I don’t own gold mining stocks. There’s so many other easy ways for people to buy gold now that the miners have stiff competition. And there’s lots and lots of competitive situations in mining.

Sell equity & bond, hold cash as more gloom ahead: Faber (MoneyControl)
Investors would be better off reducing their exposure to equity and bonds, and instead keep a sizeable chunk of their portfolio in cash, advises investment guru Marc Faber. He foresees big downsides in equity markets across the globe, including US, which has been one of the better performing markets in recent times. In an interview to CNBC-TV18, Faber says he expects the US Federal Reserve to persist with its policy of pumping liquidity into the economy through bond purchases. …He is not too optimistic about India, saying the rupee could weaken further if the twin deficits (fiscal and current account) were not dealt with effectively.

Dell rubbishes its financial performance to discredit Carl Icahn’s bid (TheInquirer)
Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) has rubbished its financial performance to make Carl Icahn‘s takeover plans seem unrealistic. Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) is the midst of a takeover battle as CEO Michael Dell tries to take the firm private, with investor Icahn and Southeastern Asset Management making a higher offer. The firm’s Special Advisory Committee that is overseeing the “go shop” period has repeatedly failed to endorse Icahn’s bid, and now the firm has taken to calling Icahn’s figures based on “unrealistic multiples” and saying the company was outperformed by HP. HP’s recent financials have hardly been anything to shout about, with the firm reporting a 32 percent fall in profits. But it appears that Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) is embracing its rival’s poor fiscal performance as a means to argue that Icahn is overvaluing the company.

Activist Funds Fight Their Way to Gains (InstitutionalInvestorsAlpha)
Activists are among the best-performing hedge funds this year, with most of the biggest players posting gains of between 10 and 13 percent through June on fairly concentrated portfolios. A big part of the reason, of course, is that the stock market in general rose 12.6 percent, excluding dividends reinvested. So portfolios that are mostly positioned on the long side generally fared well in the first half of the year. Some managers did even better than the market. ValueAct Holdings, a hedge fund managed by Jeffrey Ubben’s ValueAct Capital, rose 13 percent for the first half of this year after gaining 3 percent in the second quarter.

Novus opens book on manager data (PIOnline)
Do you fantasize about having everything you ever wanted to know about a money manager at your fingertips whenever you want it? Basil Qunibi, founder and CEO of Novus Partners Inc., New York, made that dream reality. A hedge funds-of-funds portfolio manager in a former life, Mr. Qunibi said that as an allocator, he was intensely frustrated by the lack of detailed information about money managers he was reviewing. Frustration finally got the better of him and he left money management in 2007 to find other ex-portfolio managers, engineers and data scientists to build a massive data collection machine.

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