Hedge funds see worst year since financial crisis

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Reasons small hedgies swimming upstream

Hedge fund performance over the past three months hearkened back to the bad old days of the financial crisis.

Poor performance weighed heavily on the industry, causing the biggest net loss in capital since the fourth quarter of 2008, according to data released Tuesday by HFR. The $95 billion decline pushed total industry assets further from the vaunted $3 trillion mark.

As measured by the HFRI Fund Weighted Composite Index, the industry saw a 3.9 percent performance drop in the third quarter, taking the barometer into negative territory for the year at minus 1.5 percent. At this pace, hedge funds will turn in their worst performance year since 2011.

The bright side is that the industry actually outperformed the equity market through the end of the quarter, as the fell more than 6 percent through the first nine months. The S&P has since rebounded, jumping 5.6 percent in October to pull within 1.5 percent of breakeven for the year.