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Benchmarking strategies – Database update

Benchmarking hedge fund strategies is an age old problem. A solution to this problem is to compare your strategy to an index. These are seldom directly investable (e.g. you may not have performed due diligence on the underlying managers) but serves a useful purpose for telling you if your selected strategies are doing better or worse than average. All numbers below are subject to change as we capture more return data.

NilssonHedge provides a set of Hedge Fund performance barometers, ranging from the traditional CTA indices to tracking novel strategies such as Crypto managers. Our indices are transparent and are formed at the beginning of each year, based on managers in the database at that particular point in time. They are not backfilled and gives an indication of the returns from a broad-based basket of Hedge Funds. We are currently producing 12 monthly different indices (including sub indices). Following our prior process, we also launched two Market Neutral sub indices in 2021, differentiating between discretionary and systematic strategies. In addition, we have five daily indices. You can find more info about the indices here.

Monthly Hedge Fund Index Returns
Monthly Indices (returns will continuously update as we receive additional estimates)

Our main CTA index generated 0.9% for May and has delivered 5.3% YTD. In terms of the man-vs-machine battle, Systematic strategies delivered 0.9% (YTD: 5.5%) while Discretionary traders returned 0.6% (YTD: 4.4%). This is based on a representative sample of CTA managers. We claim that our CTA indices are the broadest performance barometers on the markets and offer extraordinary transparency when it comes to capturing the broader returns from Managed Futures managers.

NilssonHedge CTA Index returns
NilssonHedge CTA Index

For the users of our database interested in crypto traders, we note that our indices lost about 24%, but the indices are still ahead 151% for the year. Although these returns are dominated by beta returns, being up more than a hundred percent for the year deserves credit.

Taking the man-vs-machine battle further, Equity Market Neutral Strategies returned 0.4% for May, and have delivered 2.8% YTD. Systematic EMN strategies returned 0.9% (YTD: 4.1%) while Discretionary traders returned -0.1% (YTD: 1.5%). Given that most of these managers are UCITS managers, we are confident about the returns. EMN strategies are still striving to make a comeback from the difficult conditions in 2019/2020.

Equity Market Neutral Index Results
Equity Market Neutral Index

To view estimates of current performance, our daily indices provide unique insights ( These are set of daily hedge fund indices, covering CTAs, Market Neutral, Equity Long/Short, Event Driven and Crypto managers. We typically deliver index estimates on T-1, making them the fastest indicator of hedge fund performance available. These indices helps you to form a narrative, understand exposures, benchmark existing managers, and to explain performance to clients.

Daily Returns for CTA, Market Neutral, Equity Long Short and Event Driven
Daily Hedge Fund Indices showing recent trends in performance

This text is auto-generated and may contain mistakes. Past performance is not indicative of future results. NilssonHedge is a free resource, but we would appreciate a small donation that will be used to maintain the site.

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