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全球最大对冲基金2012失手之谜

Stephen Gandel 2013年01月28日

全球最大对冲基金桥水联合基金的创始人雷•达里奥多年来一直被誉为金融市场中最精准的预言家之一。但这一切可能已成为过去。2012年,他领导的基金表现不仅不及同行,甚至远远低于大盘。

    

Bridgewater的创始人雷•达里奥

    对冲基金巨头桥水联合基金(Bridgewater Associates)及其创始人雷•达里奥可能有一个问题需要想想:这个家伙真的值每年20亿美元吗?2012年,投资者向这家公司支付的管理费大概就有这么多。

    这个问题在过去12个月变得更加尖锐,特别是在全美一些退休基金管理公司中间。过去十年半来,退休基金一直在向达里奥和他的公司输送资金。如今,桥水联合基金的资产管理总额已达1,420亿美元,是全美最大的对冲基金。

    原因是2012年达里奥的表现非常差。有些报道称,去年大部分时候他都不走运。博客ZeroHedge似乎有一份桥水联合基金最近的致客户函,详细阐述了2012年的投资表现。达里奥的旗舰对冲基金Pure Alpha全年仅上涨0.8%,与2012年总体市场表现相差甚远。以标准普尔500指数来看,股市涨了13%。债市涨幅超过4%。即便是经理人薪酬远低于奥利奥的普通共同基金,仅第四季度就上涨了0.9%,相比桥水全年的表现也略胜一筹。全年而言,股票共同基金平均上涨14%,轻松击败达里奥。

    当然,每位投资者都有流年不利的时候。达里奥自然也可能去年就遇上了。即便是去年一年表现不佳,他的投资记录依然居于前列。自1991年以来,Pure Alpha平均每年上涨14%。2009年,《财富》杂志(Fortune)首次向公众介绍了达里奥和他的成功故事,在主流媒体中是第一家。因此,我猜也许你会认为这不过是流年不利,每年20亿美元也没什么。(在好的年份,桥水收取的管理费更要高得多。2011年它的旗舰基金上涨了20%,桥水拿到管理费约60亿美元。)

    但如果仔细分析达里奥,似乎2012年不完全是一次意外失手。

    达里奥总是认为,大多数人对多元化的理解有误。他们的投资组合有60%是股票,其余都是债券,或者其他类似的配置比例,仅此而已。达里奥表示,股票的风险性历来远高于债券,如果你真的想要实现投资组合的多元化,就必须把更多的资金放入债券,而不是股票。

    据《华尔街日报》(Wall Street Journal)报道,达里奥向美国各地的机构投资者们宣扬他所谓的风险平价策略,吸引众多大型退休基金提高杠杆比率,增仓债券。但他们这样做的时候,正是很多人担心债券市场的泡沫可能正在形成的时候。

    听上去令人不安,但这不是真正的问题所在。毕竟,达里奥说的是多元化。最近,他加入了其他一些人的阵营,开始告诫投资者要警惕债市被高估。

    Here's what needs to be asked about giant hedge fund Bridgewater Associates and its founder Ray Dalio: Is this guy really worth $2 billion a year? That's roughly the amount investors paid his firm in management fees in 2012.

    That question got a lot tougher in the past 12 months for pension fund managers around the country, who for the past decade and a half have been funneling cash to Dalio and his firm, which now manages $142 billion - making it the largest hedge fund in the U.S.

    That's because Dalio had a lousy 2012. By some reports, he was down for most of the year. Blog ZeroHedge appears to have a copy of Bridgewater's most recent client letter, which details how it did in 2012. Dalio's flagship hedge fund, Pure Alpha, ended the year up just 0.8%. That was much worse than the market in 2012. Stocks, as measured by the S&P 500, were up 13%. Bonds were up just over 4%. Even the average mutual fund manager, who gets paid far less than Dalio, was up 0.9% in the fourth quarter alone, just slightly better than Bridgewater did all year. For the full year, stock mutual fund managers were up 14%, handily beating Dalio.

    Of course, every investor has off years. And Dalio is certainly entitled to one. Even with last year's flub, he still has one of the best track records of any investor. Pure Alpha has been up an average of 14% a year since 1991. Fortune, back in 2009, was one of the first major publications to profile Dalio and his success. So you could almost shrug off the $2 billion for an off year, I guess. (In good years, Dalio's company gets much, much more. In 2011, when his flagship fund was up 20%, his firm took in around $6 billion in fees.)

    But a close look at Dalio suggests 2012 could be more than an anomaly.

    Dalio generally believes most people get diversification wrong. They hold 60% of their portfolio in stocks and the rest in bonds, or some similar split, and call it a day. Dalio says stocks have historically been far riskier than bonds, so if you truly want to diversify your portfolio you have to put far more money in bonds than stocks.

    According to the Wall Street Journal, Dalio preaches what he calls risk parity to institutional investors around the country, and has gotten a number of large pension funds to lever up their portfolios and buy more bonds. And they're doing this at a time when everyone appears to be growing more and more worried that the bond market could be in a bubble.

    That sounds scary, but that's not the real problem. Dalio is, after all, about diversification. And he has recently joined the chorus of people who are warning that the bond market is overvalued.

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