November proved another disappointing month for Paulson & Co.'s umbrella fund, Advantage, and its Gold fund, sending the two funds' year-to-date performance down more than 17 percent and nearly 30 percentrespectively, according to people who have been briefed on the results.
The Advantage fund, which represents a blend of each of Paulson's individual strategies -- gold, merger arbitrage, credit, and recovery -- rolled into one investment vehicle, fell about 3.6 percent for the month of November alone, according to two of these people, and the gold fund fell about 9.5 percent, according to one of them. Those performances underperformed the average hedge fund tracked by HFR's global hedge fund index, which was essentially flat for the month.
Paulson also runs a fund called Advantage Plus, which is a levered version of the Advantage fund, so both gains and losses are amplified. A hedge-fund report prepared by HSBC's alternative investment group pegged Paulson's Advantage Plus Fund as the second-worst performer of the year in its industry through the end of October, at which point the fund was down about 18.5 percent; whether the fund will maintain that spot after November's results is not yet clear.
Based on Advantage results for November, Advantage Plus likely fell an additional several percentage points, and is now down more than 20 percent year to date.
One group of Paulson Advantage and Advantage Plus investors have made out better, however: those that are invested in the funds through gold shares, rather than U.S. dollars.
As part of its push into gold as an investment currency in recent years, Paulson has encouraged investors to convert their capital into gold shares, and about 50 percent of the Advantage and Advantage Plus investors have elected to do so, says a spokeswoman for the company -- making the U.S. dollar results only half the story.
Results for Paulson's other individual funds, including the merger-arbitrage funds, which performed well through the end of October, could not immediately be determined.
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