Hedge Fund Managers’ Best Ideas Not Better Than Others

A new study of the stock-picking results of nearly 1,500 hedge funds over a 20-year period found that managers’ highest-conviction ideas are not necessarily better than any others. This according to a recent article in Bloomberg.

The article cites comments from researchers at NYU and Epsilon Asset Management who found: “The focus on hedge fund stock picks at idea conferences and events is misguided and possibly counterproductive. Our analysis points to no systematic outperformance of these best ideas versus other portfolio positions held by hedge fund managers, across all size funds, and over all time periods.”

According to the article, the study echoes what many industry participants have long believed—that conferences and idea events are “often mainly an opportunity for managers to talk their book or goose returns in flagging positions.”

The study found that while the highest-conviction trades did beat the broader market, they did so only at about the same rate as the rest of the portfolio, the article reports, adding that the study report stated, “Over time, alpha has decayed in tandem with the rise in hedge fund assets.”