After a dismal decade for hedge funds, 2020 was the year that may have sealed the fate of the (former) masters of the universe who once upon a time collected 2 and 20 to hedge against crashes and to outperform the market but now merely collect tens of million in fees to come up creative excuses for sucking.
Case in point: at the start of the year, the so-called “smart money” was massively long the same handful of stocks, only to watch mortified as their portfolios exploded in March with hedge funds forgetting to actually “hedge”, and getting swept away with the market carnage. Then just as everyone flipped short in late March, the Fed launched the most batshit insane rescue of capital markets, which included injecting trillions in liquidity every single day and even buying junk bonds. Needless the say, the market ripped just as the hedge fund crew was short, leading to even more losses. Then around September, when hedge funds were doing what they do best – all jumping into the same handful of stocks – the rug was pulled from under them as the Nasdaq tumbled, quickly accumulating even more losses, and then, just two months later, the last nail in the coffin was hammered when momentum stocks – a perennial darling of those who supposedly collect millions to conduct in depth and extensive fundamental analysis but merely copycat each other’s trades – suffered a 15 sigma crash, obliterating what little alpha hedge funds had generated in 2020.