January 7, 2019 / 12:01 AM / 16 days ago

UPDATE 1-Bridgewater's Pure Alpha ends 2018 with 14.6 pct gain -source

(Adds details on Bridgewater, returns and outlook)

BOSTON, Jan 6 (Reuters) - Hedge fund giant Bridgewater Associates’ flagship Pure Alpha Strategy posted a double-digit gain in 2018 when many other funds lost money after being caught off guard by the late-year market collapse.

The Pure Alpha Strategy, which has been run since 1991, gained 14.6 percent, after fees, a person familiar with the numbers said on Sunday evening. Over its lifetime, the strategy has returned an average 12 percent a year.

Many hedge funds are still compiling their returns for last year, but early data from Hedge Fund Research show the average fund lost 6.7 percent.

Bridgewater ranks as the world’s biggest hedge fund and oversees $160 billion. It has earned roughly $50 billion for its investors over its lifetime, according to data from LCH Investments.

For some time, top Bridgewater executives have been sounding warning bells about growth, expressing concern long before more investors began worrying about the pace of central bank interest rate hikes and the strength of the economy that helped trigger a sharp market decline in past months.

Greg Jensen, one of Bridgewater’s co-chief investment officers, told Reuters late last year: “The biggest theme developing is that you are going to have significantly weaker growth, near-recession-level growth in 2019, based on our measures, and the markets are generally not pricing that in.”

Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; Editing by Peter Cooney

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