A formerly dominant hedge fund lost 35% last year after repeatedly betting against the record-setting stock market

sad NYSE traderREUTERS/Brendan McDermid

  • The Horseman Global Fund, run by career contrarian Russell Clark, lost 35% in 2019, its worst year ever, Bloomberg reported Thursday.
  • The record loss was driven by Clark’s bets against the longest-ever bull market. The S&P 500 gained 29% last year, its best performance since 2013.
  • Now, Clark is in a race against time to save the fund, which had about $241 million in assets at the end of November, down from the $1.7 billion it held in 2015.
  • Read more on Business Insider.

Russell Clark’s hedge fund, Horseman Global Fund, had a record bad year in 2019 after betting against the bull market.

The fund plunged by 35% in 2019, its worst year ever, Bloomberg’s Nishant Kumar reported Thursday. A spokesperson from Horseman Capital Management confirmed the number.

The fund’s performance faltered due to Clark’s continued contrarian bets. Since 2012, he’s held a short position against equities, betting that a stock market crash was ahead.

But has crash has yet to come. Even as the S&P 500 posted multiple fresh highs this year, Clark dug into his position — in October, he boosted the net short position in his fund to 111% of gross assets, according to a letter to investors.

That bet did not pay off, as the S&P 500 gained 29% in 2019, posting its best return since 2013. The fund, which held as much as $1.7 billion in assets in 2015, had $241 million at the end of November, according to Bloomberg.

Clark’s fund is now in a race against its dwindling assets, Bloomberg reported. This year, the hedge fund industry saw more closures than openings for the fifth year in a row, spurred by investors looking for cheaper vehicles to capture the bull market’s record run.

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