Chris van Heerden Andre Heymans Gary van Vuuren Wilme Brand

Abstract

Hedge funds are considered to be market-neutral due to their unrestricted investment flexibility and more efficient market timing abilities (Ennis & Sebastian, 2003). They may also be considered as suitably unconventional assets for improving portfolio diversification (Lamm, 1999). The evidence from this study confirms the dominance of hedge funds over the CAC 40, DAX, S&P 500 and Dow Jones from 2004 to 2011. Overall, the Sharpe, Sortino, Omega, Jensens alpha, Treynor and Calmar ratios illustrate that US hedge funds outperformed both EU hedge funds and the associated equity markets over this period. Evidence was also found that both US and EU hedge funds were more correlated with the S&P 500 and Dow Jones after the financial crisis of 2007-2009 than before the crisis.