Bloomberg have a piece up on how FX currency hedge funds performed in 2015.

  • Looks at the Parker Global Strategies LLC index
  • Which tracks top funds in the industry
  • The index lost 2.3% in 2015
  • Also, a Deutsche Bank measure shows that strategies that seek to benefit from rate differentials (broadly referred to as carry trades) lost the most in 7 years

It goes on:

  • A promising start to the year .... returns showing their longest streak of monthly advances since at least 2003
  • Gains tailed off
  • "Investors turned instead to emerging-market currencies and those of commodity exporters, only to be slammed by falling oil prices and increased volatility"

Most importantly, though, the article includes a handy list of excuses for terrible trading!

  • The Federal Reserve failed to raise interest rates as soon as some traders expected
  • Emerging-market & commodity exporter currencies "slammed" by falling oil prices and increased volatility
  • Traders who used the yen to buy its 16 major peers lost money on 15 of those trades during the past 12 months
  • "The problem is that when a currency moves 1 percent a day, it's very difficult to make money."
  • Currency-price swings averaged more in 2015 than in any of the previous three years

Dear oh dear ... what a sad and sorry list of excuses.

But, there were some money-makers:

  • Strategies that relied on momentum or valuation both returning a profit
  • Investors that identified and followed trends booked a 4.3 percent gain in 2015

Trend following worked, eh? Fancy that!