Dalio’s Macro Fund Plunged About 20% This Year as Market Tanked
Ray Dalio’s macro fund dropped about 20% this year as the billionaire fund manager found himself on the wrong side of a market rout caused by the escalating coronavirus pandemic.
Bridgewater Associates’ Pure Alpha Fund II tumbled roughly 13% this month through Thursday, according to people familiar with its performance, following an 8% drop in the first two months of the year. The firm manages about $160 billion, with about half in its Pure Alpha macro strategy.
It’s not known how Bridgewater performed through the end of the week. U.S. stocks jumped the most since 2008 on Friday, gaining more than 9% as President Donald Trump declared a national emergency to help combat the virus. Oil climbed, Treasury yields rose and gold fell.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was down 23% this year through Thursday as the virus spread accelerated and Russia and Saudi Arabia ignited an oil price war.
The Bridgewater founder offered a fairly rosy outlook for markets as recently as last month. Dalio said in mid-February that investor concerns over the virus “probably had a bit of an exaggerated effect on the pricing of assets because of the temporary nature of that, so I would expect more of a rebound.” He later issued a statement clarifying his remarks.
In January, Dalio had urged investors to get off the sidelines and benefit from strong markets, telling CNBC in an interview, “Cash is trash.”
Bridgewater’s worst month on record for the Pure Alpha II strategy was a 10.5% drop in April 2008. Even so, it ended that year up 9.4%.
Since 2011, the Westport, Connecticut-based firm has found it harder to make money, posting averaging low-single digit returns. In 2019, Pure Alpha II lost money for the first time in two decades, declining 0.5%.
A representative for Bridgewater declined to comment.
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