I went to a restaurant the other day. Smart place. Directional haired diners everywhere. Wine list as long as the bible. Multi-lingual menu with prices to match. Food was like grit on sandpaper without the taste. Waiters made us feel as welcome as Donald Trump at a Mariachi festival. I've a sneaky feeling I won't return.
Investors seem to be returning to Hedge Funds despite losses racking up. The reason - not so much that we have low interest rates that might suddenly take off, but that they remain very low (relatively) for a long time to come.
Investors not only take on more debt when the debt service burden is low; they also take more risk, potentially leading to further asset bubbles. Investors looking for income chase higher yielding opportunities, as safer bonds no longer offer the income required, and capital appreciation seeking investors allocate more to riskier asset classes such as equities. The net result? Potentially a lot more risk in many portfolios than people are aware of and would be comfortable with, did they know and/or fully understand.
Obviously this only becomes an issue if markets run into serious headwinds. But, as the Law of Sod goes...If anything can go wrong, it will, and that would certainly include the present situation in financial markets. Whilst we may not be in 2008 territory there is no question that the risk profile is out of whack in many portfolios at present.
Funds’ strategies lost $88.9bn during the month, the largest performance losses since October 2008, as runctions in Chinese markets caused large price swings across continents and asset classes. Despite the steep losses, the hedge funds managed to attract $10.5bn in net new money from investors in August, bringing their overall loss for the month to $78.4bn, according to data from Citigroup. Investors have committed more money than they have withdrawn from hedge funds in eight of the past 12 months. In the year to date, the $3.05 trillion hedge fund industry has lost a total of $59.3bn, and several funds have decided to liquidate their strategies to stem further losses.