Truly eye-opening: According to a recent book, The Hedge Fund Mirage
), by Simon Lack, from 1998 to 2010, 84% of the investment gains of the entire hedge fund industry went to the managers, and only 16% to the investors.
The thievery of our "financial industry" beggars the mind. Never mind the 1%! This is a tiny fraction of the 1% fleecing the rest of the 1%.
According to The Financial Times
"In fact, concludes Mr Lack, while many hedge fund managers have prospered from hefty fees, the bulk of their investment gains have not been shared with clients. On an asset-weighted basis, measuring cash invested to cash returned, hedge fund investors in aggregate, while narrowly beating the average return from equities, would have made more money over the past decade from investing in government bonds, and even from Treasury Bills.
"Of course the experience of 2008 colours these figures. According to Mr Lack, the hedge fund industry lost more money in that one year than all the profits it had generated during the previous 10 years. In fact most likely, he says, is that hedge funds lost more money for their investors in 2008 than the industry had made in its entire history. If true, that would put the industry up there with airlines and banks in the annals of long-term, non-productive performers from an investor perspective.
"Not that the managers have suffered the same way, of course. That is the brilliance of the hedge fund model. Between 1998 and 2010, the book shows, _even on favourable assumptions hedge fund managers earned an estimated $379bn in fees, out of total investment gains (before fees) of $449bn. In other words, they took 84 per cent of the investment profits their funds made, leaving just 16 per cent for the investors.
"Once you make adjustments for survivorship bias, fund of funds fees and so on, it is probable, he suggests, that hedge fund managers have kept all the money made, and investors have in aggregate received nothing_." [italics mine]