Comparing Hedge Funds: Highest Return Strategy


  • Vuk Janus Warrington College of Business
  • Greyson Robin Meek Heavener School of Business



Hedge Funds, Hedge Fund Strategies, Rate of Return, Alpha, S&P500, Equities, Arbitrage, Macro, Event-Driven, Multi-Strategy


Since 1997, the hedge fund industry has grown at a compounded annual growth rate of 16.07%, resulting in a 26-fold increase from its original value to its present value of $3.1 trillion Assets Under Management. This study researched the varying investment strategies used by hedge funds to determine the strategy that provides the highest returns for its investors. From the previous literature, the study identified Long/Short Equity, Global Macro, Arbitrage, Event Driven, and Cross-Asset Multi-Strategy as viable and relevant investment approaches. Using hedge fund index data from Bloomberg, Hedge Fund Research, Eureka Hedge, Barclay’s, and Credit Suisse, returns for each respective strategy were collected and compared against the Bloomberg Global Hedge Fund (BHEDGE) Index and the S&P 500 Index. Alpha adjusted returns for each strategy were later calculated and plotted against the average weighted returns of each individual strategy. The results of this study show that the L/S Equity strategy provided the highest returns for its investors. Specifically, only the L/S Equity strategy outperformed the BHEDGE Index by a narrow margin, while all other strategies provided negative alpha figures. All hedge fund strategies outperformed the overall equity market on a year-to-date basis, however, provided negative alpha returns when compared to the S&P 500 1-Year market gains. This deficit between hedge funds and the overall equity market can be attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic and its inflationary effects through low interest rates, market stimulus packs, and an increased money supply.


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Social & Behavioral Sciences, Business, Education