Hedge funds bring in the money
Funds rake in record $126.5 billion in new money in 2006; inflows cool in fourth quarter.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- A record $126.5 billion flowed into the hedge fund industry last year, despite a weak fourth quarter for attracting new money, an industry tracker said Thursday.
Hedge funds rebounded in 2006, nearly tripling the $46.9 billion in new money they attracted in 2005. Total assets under management soared 29 percent from the year earlier to $1.4 trillion, according to Chicago-based Hedge Fund Research, which tracks more than 10,500 funds.
The flow of new funds cooled at year-end, with just $15.8 billion flowing into the industry during the fourth quarter.
"While several strategies did post outflows for the fourth quarter, the general trend in flows continues to be positive," Ken Heinz, president of HFR, said in a statement.
Hedge funds are investment pools for institutional investors and the wealthy. Since the funds are private, their performance can be difficult to track.
One industry measure of performance, the HFRI Composite Index, showed hedge funds gained 12.9 percent in 2006, slightly below the 13.6 percent the broad S&P 500 index gained last year.
For the fourth quarter of last year, hedge funds returned 5.4 percent, according to the HFRI Composite Index.