Bridgewater’s Pure Alpha fund posts nearly 15 percent gain in 2018

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Ray Dalio, founder of investment firm Bridgewater Associates

Bridgewater, the world’s largest hedge fund, posted returns for 2018 that not only outperformed benchmark indexes for various asset classes, but also many of its peers.

The firm’s flagship Pure Alpha fund finished the year returning 14.6 percent net of fees, a person with knowledge of the matter said. A hedge fund index weighted based average performance lost 2 percent in the year through November, according to Hedge Fund Research, which compiles the index. Full-year numbers from HFR are expected out this week.

Nearly every major asset class ended the year in the red, including the S&P 500, which declined almost 7 percent excluding dividends.

Bridgewater’s co-chief investment officer Bob Prince told the Financial Times in October that the economy was at an “inflection point where the economy is moving from hot to mediocre.”

Bridgewater, founded by Ray Dalio, has about $160 billion in assets under management and trades across 150 different markets, of which it seeks minimal correlation.

The firm has operated the Pure Alpha strategy for nearly three decades and has generated an average annual net return of about 12 percent per year, with three years of losses over that time frame, according to the person with knowledge of the matter.

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