In the hedge fund world, bigger is still better

Bill Ackman: Benefits of short sellers

Stock market tumult has delivered a stinging hit to a number of areas, notable among them the hedge fund industry, which has seen a promising year turn south in a hurry.

Total hedge assets are back lingering near the $3 trillion mark, after a brutal August sucked out $78.4 billion. Investors on their own added $10.5 billion, but that wasn't nearly enough to offset the losses due to poor performance, according to recent data from industry tracker eVestment.

The culprit was a brutal month that left major stock market averages down 6 percent or more and sent many individual investors scurrying to the sidelines.

Hedge funds actually outperformed the market for the month, with an aggregate loss of 2.31 percent compared to the 6.03 percent drop in the .

The best strategies this year include one mainstay: Going big.