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As we’ve discussed, 2019 was a “meh” year for hedge funds. Returns look pretty OK in isolation, but when compared with, say, an S&P 500 index fund, they look a good deal less OK. (Unless you are one of the very rare souls investing with a woman or person of color, in which case things look somewhat more OK.) All around the world, there’s really not much to celebrate for those not named Bill Ackman or Chris Hohn (and even he’s not celebrating as much as he could be, given the continuing demands of the former missus and also the impending extinction of the human race).

Except for this: Sure, we humans didn’t do a great job, markets-wise, last year. But you know what? Our future robot overlords didn’t, either.

Voleon Group, one of the best known machine-learning hedge funds, returned 7% last year in its flagship strategy after drawing inflows on the back of a stellar performance in 2018…. The 2019 return compares with a 9.2% gain for hedge funds overall, according to the Bloomberg All Hedge Fund Index. A Eurekahedge gauge tracking funds using AI and machine learning rose 6.4% last year.

Machine-Learning Hedge Fund Voleon Group Returns 7% in 2019 [Bloomberg]
Hedge Funds Not Led by White Men Outperform Nearly 2 to 1 [Bloomberg]
For Many Hedge Funds in Asia, 2019 Was Good, But Not Good Enough [Bloomberg]
The World’s Most-Profitable Hedge Fund Is Now a Climate Radical [Bloomberg]


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Love Wins

Bill Ackman is living proof.

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I Literally Have No Idea What These Two Extremely Rich People Are Fighting Over

TCI’s Chris Hohn is trying to stop a grant to his ex-wife’s charity that he agreed to because who the hell knows?


Company Pulling Out All The Stops To Piss Off Chris Hohn

Maybe if it keeps at it, Wirecard can get itself charged with the Kennedy assassination.


Hedge Fund Manager Fails In Effort To The Renege On Charitable Deal With Ex-Wife

The inscrutable, incomprehensible and completely unnecessary legal battle between the former Cooper-Hohns comes, after much time and expense, to its meaningless and inevitable conclusion.

By D J Shin (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

Two Sigma Hires Google Brain Scientist To Finally Make This Damned AI Thing Work

Mike Schuster has the chance to be the hedge fund’s last human employee.