Commodity trading advisors outperformed spectacularly in the traumatic markets of 2008, but were wrongfooted by the rebound in 2009. Have they emerged from the crisis with their appeal enhanced? Elise Coroneos reports.
In the dark days of late 2008, when stockmarkets were in a
downward spiral and liquidity in the world economy had all but
dried up, managed futures firms were experiencing a 'told you
For years, these firms’ sales pitch had been
that they were uncorrelated with mainstream markets, especially
when markets were falling. Now they had a chance to prove
Millions of people watched as the value of their stock
portfolios disappeared before their eyes. Yet many commodity
trading advisors (CTAs), the entities that trade managed
futures, produced positive returns.
In October, November and December 2008, as the rest of the
investment universe reeled, the Barclay CTA Index scored
returns of 3.45%, 1.87% and 1.28%. For 2008 overall, the index
CTAs grabbed the attention of institutions and individual
investors who had previously dismissed the asset class. Many
decided to investigate and perform due diligence for the first
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