Bloomberg News

Soros Says Hedge Funds Can’t Beat Market Because of Fees

January 25, 2013

Soros Says Hedge Funds Can’t Outperform Market Because of Fees

“Outperforming the market with low volatility on a consistent basis is an impossibility,” said Soros. “I outperformed the market for 30-odd years, but not with low volatility.” Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

George Soros, the billionaire philanthropist and former hedge-fund manager, said institutions that invest in the industry should expect poor performance, in part because managers charge high fees.

“Since hedge funds are now a dominant force in the market, they can’t, as a group, outperform the market,” Soros said today in a Bloomberg Television interview with Erik Schatzker from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The funds’ fees, typically 2 percent of assets and 20 percent of returns, eat into profits, Soros said.

Soros’s hedge fund operated until 2011, when he turned New York-based Soros Fund Management LLC into a family office that now oversees $24 billion. He averaged returns of about 20 percent a year since 1969 at the firm and its predecessor.

Hedge-fund performance will also be impeded because managers and investors are reluctant to take risks, Soros said.

“Outperforming the market with low volatility on a consistent basis is an impossibility,” said Soros, 82. “I outperformed the market for 30-odd years, but not with low volatility.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Katherine Burton in New York at kburton@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christian Baumgaertel at cbaumgaertel@bloomberg.net


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