Hedge Funds

This list gives a brief overview of the most famous hedge funds in the world, discussing the investment strategies of the fund managers and their past performance.

More hedge funds can be found on the following pages: Top Hedge Funds, Popular Hedge Funds, and Largest Hedge Funds.

Warren Buffett - Berkshire Hathaway

Buffett is probably the world's most famous (and followed) investor. When Buffett buys or sells a significant amount of a stock, the markets often react, usually following his lead. His value oriented approach to investing inspired countless smaller investors to follow in his footsteps, though few have achieved similar success.

His fund, Berkshire Hathaway, still focuses on finding value in stocks, but the investment strategy had to be adjusted over the years as the fund became larger. It became more difficult to efficiently grow capital at the rates enjoyed in the past (this happens with all hedge funds when they become very large).

Despite that, Berkshire remains one of the largest and most successful holding companies in the world, and Buffett remains a hallmark of investing followed by thousands across the globe.

Carl Icahn - Icahn Enterprises

Icahn used to be notorious for hostile takeovers of companies on Wall Street. Corporations would sometimes pay him greenmail money just to keep him away. His rise to fame was through some corporate raids that made him one of the largest investors in the stock market.

Today, the investment philosophy of his hedge fund, Icahn Enterprises, remains similar though slightly less hostile. He follows an activist investor approach, taking decisive actions to make his investments achieve a good return. He is often involved in big public feuds with other investors or executives as they try to push opposing views regarding a stock.

George Soros - Soros Fund Mgmt

Soros was known for taking large bets against some economies and making millions when a crisis unfolds. His most famous bet was a short position against the British Pound in the 1990's that netted him over 1 billion dollars.

Soros eventually returned investor money and now Soros Fund Management operates as a family investment fund, managing billions of dollars in family wealth.

A polarizing figure, Soros is often featured in the media and is heavily involved in political activism.

Bill Ackman - Pershing Square Capital Mgmt

Bill Ackman is mostly known for his largely public bets on stocks which often involve public relations campaigns and the media to push stock prices in a favorable direction to his investments. As an activist investor, Ackman was involved in several feuds with Carl Icahn (some that lasted many years), and the two are known to have a distaste for one another.

More recently, Ackman's fund, Pershing Square Capital Management, made a few losing bets that cost investors millions of dollars in losses. As a result many investors are reported to have withdrawn their money from the fund.

David Einhorn - Greenlight Capital

Another activist investor, Einhorn's strategy involves either picking up heavily undervalued stocks or shorting largely overvalued stocks. Some of Greenlight Capital's high profile long bets included Apple and GM.

However, the fund recently made big losses on some of its big short positions. Greenlight was one of the very few institutional investors who dared to short Amazon stock. Other risky shorts taken by Einhorn include Netflix and Tesla.

The large losses Greenlight incurred from these positions severely hurt the fund and its investors, sometimes wiping out their gains in other stocks (Elon Musk sometimes taunts those taking short bets against Tesla)

John Paulson - Paulson

With an event-based investing style, John Paulson has set records on many fronts in the world of investing. He was one of the few to foresee the US financial crisis and took a short bet against it, making billions of dollars in the process.

His hedge fund, Paulson & Co, focuses on finding arbitrage opportunities in events such as Mergers & Acquisitions, restructurings, and other similar corporate changes. The fund is also invested in debt and real estate.

David Tepper - Appaloosa

Investors trusted Tepper enough that his fund, Appaloosa Management, had very few investor withdrawals during the 2008 financial crisis. His strategy involves taking large, focused positions in stocks and other securities, including those viewed unfavorably by the market.

Over the years Appaloosa returned a lot of capital back to investors, instead focusing on managing Tepper's wealth and those of the fund's employees. Tepper is prominent in the investment industry, with some viewing him as some sort of investing God.

Daniel Loeb - Third Point

A Savvy investor known for his witty letters critical of corporate executives, Danny Loeb rose to prominence through his investments in distressed companies that he sought to turn around.

When filing regulatory documents for Third Point Management, Loeb often writes letters that attack inefficient company management, criticizing actions that he believes are not in the best interest of shareholders. His letters have attracted quite the following in the hedge fund world, and some even attribute changes in some corporation's management to those letters.

Ken Griffin - Citadel Advisors

Founded with only around $5 million, Citadel has grown into one of the world's largest hedge funds, with investments across asset classes ranging from equities to fixed income. A portion of the business even expanded into market making and providing liquidity to brokers and other institutional investors.

Citadel owns over 4,000 stocks and operates globally, hence it can be difficult to follow its trades or the actions of Kenneth Griffin himself. Currently, its top 20 positions make up only about 10-12% of its portfolio, with most stocks having a weight of less than 1%. Nonetheless, Citadel's top 20 weighted portfolio has outperformed the S&P over the past 3 years.

Furthermore, Citadel often uses quantitative analysis to make investment decisions and have a division dedicated to that.

Paul Tudor Jones - Tudor Investment

A contrarian investor, Paul Tudor Jones follows a disciplined approach to investing that involves using stop losses and other rules of when to quit positions. His fund, Tudor Investment, is dedicated to continuous innovation and research to keep adapting to the changing markets.

Paul uses both macro and micro analysis in his investing decisions, and Tudor Investment also recruit quantitative researchers for their trading models and computer based investment techniques.

Steven Cohen - Point72 Asset Mgmt

Beginning his career as a junior trading and rising up to become a hedge fund star, Steven Cohen built Point72 Asset Management to be a large diverse fund employing long-short and macro investment strategies.

While he was a quick trader in the past, Cohen reportedly has evolved into holding positions as long-term investments. Although Cohen was involved in an insider trading scandal, he managed to strike a deal and settle a civil case that forbade him from managing investor funds till 2018.

Jim Simons - Renaissance Technologies

An award winning mathematician turned investor, Jim Simons founded Renaissance Technologies to use mathematical models and algorithms to trade the financial markets. After achieving great success for many years, RenTech closed its doors to new clients.

RenTech employs mostly scientists, mathematicians, and statisticians who often have little to no market experience. Instead, the fund mines large amounts of financial data and uses its computer models to predict future market movements. Unfortunately, Renaissance Institutional Equities Fund (RIEF) has not performed as good as RenTech's other exclusive funds that are only available to employees.

Furthermore, RenTech once urged the SEC to not implement a rule that would have forced Hedge Funds to publicly disclose short positions. Imagine how much better Hedge Follow would be if that rule passed.

Ray Dalio - Bridgewater Associates

Being a large hedge fund that only serves institutional clients, Bridgewater Associates operates on a global macro level with over $100 billion in AUM.

Ray Dalio's stock investing philosophy was that the fund should use two investment strategies in parallel. A passive investing approach that is exposed to overall market risk, and an active investing approach that involves actively acquiring stocks and positions uncorrelated to the market.

The fund also likes to diversify and avoid investing in highly-correlated assets.

Leon Cooperman - Omega Advisors

A former partner at Goldman Sachs, Leon (or Lee) Cooperman left the bank to start his own hedge fund, Omega Advisors.

Cooperman mostly managed his own money in his fund, and in 2018 actually announced he will be returning all investors' money and will turn Omega Advisors into a family investment office.

T Boone Pickens - BP Capital Fund Advisors

Once a corporate raider and heavily involved in oil trading, T Boone Pickens has mostly retired from that past. He was involved in investments in alternative energy and energy proposals to reduce American dependence on foreign oil.

BP Capital focuses on investments across the energy supply chain, using a bottom-up fundamental analysis of stocks to find opportunities for capital appreciation and returns.

Israel Englander - Millennium Mgmt

A fan of arbitrage investment opportunities, Israel Englander employed long-short trading strategies to grow his hedge fund, Millennium Management into a global firm operating in over 10 countries across the globe.

Today, Millennium uses a large number of traders working in teams focused on different strategies. The intent is to achieve diversification through implementing a broad range of investment approaches.

Ken Fisher - Fisher Asset Mgmt

Fisher Investments operates as a money management firm that builds portfolios according to their clients' needs and risk tolerance, often investing in stocks outside the United States in emerging markets and global economies.

Julian Robertson - Tiger Mgmt

Now mostly retired, Julian Robertson founded Tiger Management back in 1980, with assets under management peaking to over $20 billion in the late 1990's. Tiger Fund is credited with accurately predicting the tech bubble and exiting many stocks that later incurred heavy losses in value. Shortly afterwards however, Robertson retired and wound down the fund.

Nonetheless Robertson remains invested in the hedge fund business mostly through other hedge funds and investment vehicles. Robertson mentored several investors during their time at Tiger that eventually many went on to start their own hedge funds and were dubbed "Tiger Cubs".

Examples of the Tiger Cubs include Chase Coleman's Tiger Global Management, Glen Kacher's Light Street Capital, and Jonathan Auerbach's Hound Partners.

Stanley Druckenmiller - Duquesne Family Office

A former portfolio manager for George Soros, Stanley Druckenmiller was one of those by Soro's side when they famously bet against the sterling pound and made a billion. Druckenmiller later left Soros to focus on his own hedge fund, Duquesne Capital. He later closed down his fund in 2010 when it had AUM in excess of $12 billion, citing the stress of the job and the difficulty of maintain his exceptionally good trading record!

What remains is Duquesne Family Office, a family investment fund that is concentrated in a relatively small number of stocks.

Edward Lampert - Rbs Partners

Although once considered one of the greatest minds on Wall Street, Edward (or Eddy) Lampert has since fallen in the eyes of many due to the disastrous fate of Sears Holdings, of which Lampert was the CEO. His failure to turn the company around and aggressive management strategy was heavily criticized in the media, leading many to question whether he is fit to run the company.

Nonetheless, Lampert remains the first hedge fund manager to ever make over $1 billion in one year. His investment style typically involves finding undervalued stocks in a similar manner to Warren Buffett (Lampert was an avid reader of Buffett's shareholder letters).

Note that technically Lampert's Hedge fund is ESL Investments, though reporting is done through RBS Partners. On Hedge Follow both of those are merged into one page for convenience of the users.

Donald Yacktman - Yacktman Asset Mgmt

A humble investing star, Donald Yacktman is one hedge fund manager you would not recognize if you saw. He shuns flashy cars and clothes and opts for a modest lifestyle. Nonetheless his investing style (which often overlaps with that of Buffett's) has been quite successful for his fund, Yacktman Asset Management.

Yacktman looks for stocks of companies that have a good business but have fallen from the graces of the markets temporarily. He invests in those undervalued companies and perseveres with patience until the stock appreciates in value.

His son, Stephen (or Steve) Yacktman recently took over operations of the fund, while his other son, Brian Yacktman, manages the hedge fund YCG.
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