Bishop’s Impala Fund Gained in January, Dodging Market Selloff

Bob Bishop’s Impala flagship fund, which is bullish on commodities, was up 5.4% in January, evading an equities selloff and turmoil spurred by retail traders that battered several industry peers.

The fund, which is under Bishop’s $2 billion Impala Asset Management, was up about 22% in the final three months of 2020, said the person, who declined to be named because the information is private. The quarterly gain also topped stock indexes.

The performance compares with a market slump last month that came amid retail-trading havoc and concerns over the coronavirus pandemic. Frenzied buying in GameStop Corp. and other stocks resulted in billions of dollars of losses for hedge funds that were forced to close out bets that shares of those companies would fall. Some of the funds hurt by the GameStop short may have pared losses before the end of the month after trading in the shares was halted.

The Impala fund invests about 30% of its portfolio in resources stocks and 25% in home-construction and building-products equities, with about $1 billion under management at the end of last year, according to the person. The S&P Global Natural Resources USD Index eked out a small gain in January, while the Supercomposite Homebuilding Index advanced more than 8%. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 Index fell 1.1%, and the MSCI All-Country World Index slipped.

Bishop’s resource fund, which was up 30% last year, has predicted a long-term bull market for commodities. It sees copper as a “clear winner,” and is also bullish on wood products and the energy sector. The fund has more than $200 million under management, according to the person.

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