Hedge Fund Research data show 174 hedge fund liquidations in the third quarter, up from 125 in the second quarter, while the number of openings held essentially steady, at 144. "It is likely that the trends toward funds exhibiting strong performance, lower fees and greater liquidity, as well as continuing interest in risk-parity and risk-premia products, will extend into and drive industry growth in 2019," HFR President Kenneth Heinz.
Some hedge funds struggled this year, but they would be in a far worse position had they not correctly called the flattening yield curve and the US dollar's rise, Jamie McGeever writes. The trend appears set to continue as hedge funds remain long on the dollar against a basket of currencies, while they maintain their position that the gap in yields between two- and 10-year Treasury bonds will flatten.
India-focused hedge funds had returns of 8.5% during November, outpacing the month's 1.6% average return on emerging-market portfolios, eVestment data show. Such funds, however, are still down 16.3% so far in 2018, making them the year's worst-performing strategy, according to the data.
Apple, Amazon and Microsoft were the top three stock picks among hedge fund managers during the third quarter, according to WalletHub. An analyst says investors still see potential for Microsoft to develop its cloud computing business, while the presence of Amazon and Apple near the top of the ranking suggests they might have weathered the concerns that prompted investors to turn defensive on so-called FAANG stocks during the recent sell-off on Wall Street.
A measure proposed in Hong Kong would allow locally domiciled hedge funds and private equity funds to be exempt from a 16.5% tax on profits. Paul Ho of EY said the move also could benefit sovereign-wealth funds and encourage more fund managers to relocate to Hong Kong.
Third-quarter sales of fixed-indexed annuities rose 38.7% over the same quarter in 2017, according to the Insured Retirement Institute. Sales of variable annuities were up 10.1% year over year, but Insured Retirement Institute President Cathy Weatherford said she expects VA sales to pick up in the fourth quarter and next year.
Federal Life Insurance Company said it may use some of the proceeds from its holding company's recent initial public offering to bring a variable annuity to the market. The company also said it may attempt to get its stock delisted from the Nasdaq to avoid Securities and Exchange Commission reporting requirements.
The Insured Retirement Institute joined a group of retirement and life insurance industry officials urging the House and Senate to pass proposed retirement legislation before the current session ends. Insured Retirement Institute President Cathy Weatherford notes Congress is at "the goal line," saying, "All that's needed now is one final push to get the job done."
Sherry Delaney of New Market Wealth Management thought it was a prank when she got a call from the Securities and Exchange Commission telling her the firm had two weeks to prepare for an audit. She discusses how the firm came together to meet the deadline and what she learned from the experience.
Attorney John McManus offers 10 tax-planning tasks to remind wealthy clients to do before the end of the year. "Many tax opportunities have an annual expiration date of Dec. 31, and this year presents unique possibilities," he writes.