Top 3 Global Macro Hedge Funds to Follow

Generate Investment Ideas by Following the Best

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There are many different hedge funds around the world that generate alpha using a number of different strategies, ranging from arbitrage to short selling. Over the past several years, global macroeconomic (“global macro”) investing has grown increasingly popular due to the turbulence affecting many parts of the world. Many of these funds must regularly report their largest holdings to the U.S. SEC., which creates an opportunity for investors to piggy-back on the knowledge.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the top three global macro hedge funds and how international investors can follow their trades by reading SEC filings.

How to Read SEC Filings

The most important SEC filing for international investors to watch when analyzing hedge funds is the Schedule 13F filing, which contains a detailed record of a fund's largest holdings. By comparing these holdings between two time periods, investors can determine what stocks, funds, or other assets were purchased or sold over time.

Many websites aim to simplify this process by automating the comparison of asset between periods, including Whale Wisdom, but investors can find the information for free on the SEC's website. Investors may also want to consider setting up e-mail alerts through many different companies for SEC filings to be alerted as soon as the filings are made public.

While SC 13F filings must be made on a regular basis, it's important to note that there is a delay between the fund buying an asset and them disclosing the purchase in regulatory filings.

Investors should be sure to compare the price paid by the fund at the time of purchase to the current market price to asses whether the anticipated movement has already occurred.

Bridgewater Associates

Bridgewater Associates is a $150 billion global macro hedge fund that invests based on economic trends, such as inflation, exchange rates, and U.S. gross domestic product readings.

As early pioneers of currency overlay strategies, absolute return products, and risk parity concepts, the hedge fund was among the fastest growing asset managers in the world between 2000 and 2005.

In 2010, the company was ranked #1 in Institutional Investors’ Worlds Top 100 Hedge Funds list and received the Macro Focused Hedge Fund Firm of the Year award among other things. AR&A also ranks the company #1 in its Hedge Fund Report Card and Billion Dollar Club categories given its consistent outperformance of competitors and innovative strategies that it brings to the market.

View Bridgewater Associates' SEC Filings

Caxton Associates

Caxton Associates is a global macro hedge fund that makes investments based on its analysis of worldwide economic trends. According to a Financial Times interview with Andrew Law in 2013, the hedge fund is largely focused on three core principles, including listening to the markets, paying attention to politics, and effectively managing risk in order to improve long-term returns.

While the hedge fund experienced some redemption issues early in its history through 2008, it has made more than $13 billion for its clients – or 14% annually – with half the volatility of the S&P 500, which makes it a leader among global macro hedge funds and a solid performer among all hedge funds in general.

Notably, the company has never truly restricted redemptions either – even in 2008.

View Caxton Associates' SEC Filings

Soros Fund Management

Soros Fund Management is a hedge fund that was reclassified as a “family office”, which is run by the legendary billionaire George Soros. In addition to breaking the Bank of England back in 1992, netting more than a billion pounds in a single day, he has averaged a 20% annual rate of return over the subsequent four decades, making the fund one of the best performing in the industry.

In general, the fund is focused on investing in public equity and fixed income markets worldwide, as well as foreign exchange, currency, commodities, private equity, and venture capital funds. The company has large investments in transportation, energy, retail, financial, and other industries, which makes the investments worth following moving into the future.

View Soros Funds' SEC Filings

Key Takeaway

International investors can glean a lot of insights by following the investments made by leading global macro hedge funds. In addition to these three funds, investors can take a look at the SEC filings associated with many other funds in order to create lists of “stocks to watch” as an alternative to investing in broader market exchange-traded funds (“ETFs”) that may not offer quite as much alpha.