Bridgewater's Pure Alpha Fund Down 1.81% in March; All-Weather Fund +2.9%

Apr 7 2016 | 10:54pm ET

Ray Dalio’s Pure Alpha hedge fund strategy lost 1.81% in March and is now down 6.75% for the year to date. 

The performance comes as many hedge funds struggle with returns in 2016. In contrast with many of its peers, Pure Alpha delivered 4.7% net of fees last year but stumbled in early 2016 when it reportedly lost more than 10% in two weeks in February.

Pure Alpha has about $81 billion in assets and is a traditional macro-oriented long/short hedge fund strategy active in equity, credit, commodity and currency markets. 

In contrast, Bridgewater’s All-Weather fund, which follows a risk-parity strategy, gained 2.9% in March and is ahead 2.3% so far this year after very difficult 2015 in which it lost 7%. Risk parity funds fund seeks to generate positive returns in both good and bad markets, protecting against market swings by actively allocating across global stocks, bonds and currencies and rebalancing portfolio exposure daily based largely on volatility.

Bridgewater, which is famous for an extremely unique culture of direct and constant feedback, has recently grappled with succession planning. Dalio brought former Apple executive Jon Rubinstein aboard in mid-March as its co-chief executive, replacing longtime executive Greg Jensen in the role. Jensen, who joined Bridgewater 20 years ago, remains as Bridgewater’s co-CIO.

Bridgewater aims to complete its shift from an entrepreneurial firm run by Dalio to an institution run by many capable executives in the next four or five years, according to a note sent to clients announcing Rubenstein’s hiring. 

Founded in 1975 in a two-room apartment, Westport, CT-based Bridgewater is the world’s largest hedge fund manager, responsible for $154 billion in assets for institutional investors, foreign governments, central banks, corporate and public pension funds, university endowments and charitable foundations.

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