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Heidorn, Thomas
Kaiser, Dieter G.
Roder, Christoph
Year of Publication: 
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Working paper series // Frankfurt School of Finance & Management 109
Funds of Hedge Funds (FHF) are perceived to be the premier choice of institutional investors for first-time allocations into the alternative investment asset class. While many papers cover the bright side of FHF investing, we in this paper empirically investigate the maximum drawdowns of FHF. Therefore, we analyze time series and descriptive variables of 649 FHF drawn from the Lipper TASS Hedge Fund database for the time period January 1996 to August 2007. Our empirical results suggest that (1) the number as well as the magnitude of drawdowns decreases with increasing experience of the FHF, (2) the average recovery is higher with older FHF, (3) there is no difference in the magnitude of a maximum drawdown between small and large FHF, (4) the higher a maximum drawdown of an FHF the longer it takes to recover, and (5) most of the maximum drawdowns happen at times of turmoil in financial markets. Therefore our findings especially question the acclaimed ability of FHF to deliver absolute returns and also show that the beta risks involved with FHF are high. The advantages of FHF should thus rather be their low long-term correlations to traditional asset classes as well as their low volatility.
Funds of hedge funds
assets under management
maximum drawdown
recovery time
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Working Paper

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