For the second year running, women hedge-fund managers outperform men on average, according to a Reuters report of a study by professional services firm Rothstein Kass. It quotes Meredith Jones, a director at Rothstein Kass, who said it could feed speculation that women are better investors: “There have been studies that show that testosterone can make men less sensitive to risk-reward signals, and that comes through in this study.”
The firm has its own Women in Alternative Investments Index which includes 80 of roughly 125 hedge funds worldwide run by women. It said that, over the period 1 Jan – 30 Nov 2013, the hedge funds run by women and tracked by the index returned 9.8%, compared to only 6.13% gain in the HFRX Global Hedge Fund index. Over 6 years from Jan 2007 to June 2013, hedge funds run by women returned 6%, compared with a 1.1% loss at the HFRX Global Fund Index.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index gained 4.2 percent during the same time.
Although the hedge fund industry manages $2.5 trillion, hedge funds run by women manage only a tiny fraction. Although some institutional investors such as Connecticut’s pension fund have programs designed to make allocations to firms run by women and minorities, the small size and number of women-run funds has been its own barrier to large investments.
Jones said that an Oct 2013 survey of 440 senior women, including fund managers, investors, and service providers, showed growing optimism about the role of women in an industry historically dominated by men.