Hedge funds that rely on mathematical models and use computing power to invest in trend-following strategies are experiencing a revival after a decade of weak performance.
The current environment of rising rates, inflation, and an aggressive Fed have created prolonged volatility, something that managed futures (this style of fund) thrive in. By following mathematically derived models, these quant-driven hedge funds take long or short positions in sectors such as commodities, currencies, fixed income, and equities.
Relying on trend following can help capture price potentials in both upward and downward moving markets and they perform best when there is momentum in the markets. With the Fed having withdrawn its bond stimulus support, momentum is being inserted into markets that have otherwise been too stable for these types of funds to perform strongly in, and hedge funds utilizing this strategy are performing strongly this year.
Managed futures hedge funds have gained an average of 15.1% in the first four months of 2022 that have seen equities and bonds both plummet on numerous occasions, reported the Financial Times. They were the best performing class of hedge funds while the overall hedge fund industry was down 1.9% as of the end of April.
“Given what’s happened in rates, commodities and currencies, managed futures funds are like pigs in mud,” said Andrew Beer, co-portfolio manager of DBMF and managing member at Dynamic Beta Investments.
Capturing Hedge Fund Performance In an ETF
The iMGP DBi Managed Futures Strategy ETF (DBMF) is a unique ETF that works to replicate the performance of hedge fund managed futures strategies within an ETF wrapper. The fund is designed to capture performance no matter how equity markets are moving. DBMF allows for the diversification of portfolios across asset classes that are uncorrelated to traditional equities or bonds.
It is an actively managed fund that uses long and short positions within derivatives, mostly futures contracts, and forward contracts. These contracts span domestic equities, fixed income, currencies, and commodities (via its Cayman Islands subsidiary).
The position that the fund takes within domestic managed futures and forward contracts is determined by the Dynamic Beta Engine. This proprietary, quantitative model attempts to ascertain how the largest commodity-trading advisor hedge funds have their allocations. It does so by analyzing the trailing 60-day performance of CTA hedge funds and then determining a portfolio of liquid contracts that would mimic the hedge funds’ performance (not the positions).
DBMF takes long positions in derivatives with exposures to asset classes, sectors, or markets that are anticipated to grow in value and takes short positions in derivatives with exposures expected to fall in value. Under normal market conditions, the fund seeks to maintain volatility between 8%–10% annually.
DBMF has a management fee of 0.85% and an additional 10 bps for other expenses listed in the prospectus.
For more news, information, and strategy, visit the Managed Futures Channel.