By Svea Herbst-Bayliss
BOSTON, Oct 7 (Reuters) - Hedge fund manager John Paulson, known for huge gains followed by heavy losses in some of his funds, extended his portfolios' winning streak in September, leaving all of them with double-digit gains for the year, a person familiar with the numbers said on Monday.
Bets on insurers, health care, real estate and hotels all helped Paulson's biggest funds deliver some of the industry's best gains, according to the source, who is not permitted to speak about the private funds publicly.
The average hedge fund is up about 4.5 percent this year, research firm Hedge Fund Research reported, while the Standard & Poor's 500 Index is up 18 percent after gaining 2.6 percent in September.
Paulson told investors that his Recovery Fund gained 4.2 percent in September and is up 37.8 percent for the year, while the Paulson Enhanced fund gained 3.1 percent and is up 25.6 percent for the year, the source said.
Even his Advantage Funds, the firm's biggest before suffering heavy losses in 2011 and 2012, were up: The Advantage Fund gained 0.9 percent to be up 11 percent for the year, while the Advantage Plus Fund gained 1.2 percent and is up 15.8 percent.
Paulson did not report how his gold fund, which suffered double-digit losses earlier in the year, is faring. Most of the money left in the shrinking portfolio is Paulson's own.
Ever since earning $15 billion with a bet against the housing market in 2007, Paulson's investment picks have been closely followed in the hedge fund industry.
Although Paulson had, for a time, a very pessimistic view on Europe and was shorting European sovereign bonds a year ago, he is now betting on Greece's recapitalized banking sector.