Observations/Commentary

New York – CTA Expo, April 29
CTA Expo
CTAExpo New York is a one day conference, consisting of speakers and panels combined with extensive networking opportunities. Attendees can attend any of the presentations throughout the day or decide to talk and network with other industry professionals. In 2014 CTAExpo conferences in New York and Chicago again had capacity attendance while attendance at Emerging Manager Forum Miami was up almost 20% and had over 100 attendees from the Florida Alternative Investment Community.
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NEW YORK 2015 – National Introducing Brokers Association
Join fellow IBs, CTAs, CPOs, APs, regulatory officials and futures industry service providers including the exchanges, FCMs, legal, accounting, compliance, technology, marketing and more for an afternoon of learning, discussion, and networking.
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***DA: The NIBA/CTA Expo one-two punch comes to New York in a couple weeks. CTA Expo on Wednesday the 29th and NIBA on the following day. NIBA is free to attend but you must register. And, it is being held at the New York Athletic Club, John’s favorite place in New York to snore.

Disclosure Documents: A Guide for CPOs and CTAs
NFA
Updated the “Proprietary Trading Results” sections of the guide with minor revisions to clarify that pro-forma adjustments must be made for fees and commissions only.
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Paul Tudor Jones buys $71 million Palm Beach estate
Robert Frank, CNBC
Paul Tudor Jones, who last week warned of the rising wealth gap sparking a revolution, just spent $71 million on an estate in Palm Beach, Florida.
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Four Different Ways Futures Accounts Get Taxed
Attain Capital, via ValueWalk
Unlike stocks, futures based investments are based on their marked to market value at the end of the year, so any open trade profits or losses in the account are treated as realized profits or losses as of the last day of the year. This is generally good news for investors, as futures gains or losses are treated as 60% long term capital gains and 40% short term capital gains, NO MATTER the holding period. For example, an investor who holds a futures position for just a few minutes, or hours, can book 60% of the profits on that trade as long term gains (and pay the lower long term capital gains rate) – even though the trade was anything but long term.
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Lead Stories

CTAs enjoy second strongest quarter since 2008
Automated Trader
Societe Generale Prime Services has announced the March data for its Newedge CTA indices. March saw three of the four managed futures indices calculated by Societe Generale Prime Services recover their positive performance after February’s retreat. The strong returns ensured that the Newedge CTA Index enjoyed its second strongest quarter since 2008 – up 5.79% over the period.
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***DA: Or if you prefer EurekaHedge’s numbers:

Eurekahedge: Hedge Funds Up 3.11% in Q1 2015
HedgeCo.net
Hedge funds registered their third consecutive month of gains since the start of the year, with the Eurekahedge Hedge Fund Index up 0.83% in March, outperforming the MSCI World Index[2] which ended the month down 0.39%.
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CTA market has turned a corner – Newedge
Futures & Options World
The Commodity Trading Advisor (CTA) market has finally turned the corner on the back of improved market conditions, according to Societe Generale Newedge. James Skeggs, global head of advisory group at Societe Generale Newedge, said of trend following CTAs: “They clearly have turned the corner, the general environment has changed.
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Why most millennials don’t invest in the stock market
By Jillian Berman
The kids are scared of the stock market. Just 26% of people under 30 are investing in stocks, according to a survey published Thursday by Bankrate.com, a personal finance site. That’s compared with 58% of people between the ages of 50 and 64.
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***DA: What does this mean for when we are trying to entice them into alternative investments?

Hedge fund machines cash in—again
CNBC
The robots are winning again. Hedge funds that rely on sophisticated computer algorithms to invest are once again producing the industry’s best returns. Funds managed by ISAM, Cantab, AHL, Systematica and others produced double-digit gains over the first three months of 2015, according to private performance figures obtained by CNBC.com.
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All Hedge Fund Strategies Up Last Week Except CTAs
Mark Melin – ValueWalk
Lyxor report shows hedge fund continue to climb but their primary performance driver year to date, CTAs, take a breather as trends stumble
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***DA: Hey, we can’t win ’em every time. At least the trend is more favorable, as evidenced by the news above.

Managed Futures/Managed Funds

Hedge funds’ bets on strengthening dollar pay off
Miles Johnson in London and Stephen Foley in New York, FT
Hedge funds have enjoyed their best quarter relative to US equities in four years as big bets on the rise in the US dollar paid off for some of the world’s best known managers, helping the industry break years of mediocre returns.
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Hedge Fund Kamunting Street Capital Shutting Down; The fund suffered over the past nine months from junk bond bets jostled by hard-hit energy companies
By ROB COPELAND
The historic plunge in oil prices has helped claim another victim: a hedge fund run by a former Citigroup Inc. trading star.
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***DA: The CTAs on the other side of that trade did just fine on the oil plunge, thank you.

Currency, Oil Help Managed-Futures Funds; Funds revive with help from clearer trends in certain markets
By ANNA PRIOR
After several years of disappointing returns, managed-futures mutual funds are hot again.
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Why You Should Worry About Your Fund Manager’s Love Life; Study finds that a hedge-fund manager’s returns suffer during marriage and divorce
By SIMON CONSTABLE, WSJ
When managers of hedge funds get divorced or married, it’s bad news for their investors. Their asset returns are likely to suffer. Worse still, the pain could last years.
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Star Investors Reveal Their Hits and Misses; The hard lessons from Rob Arnott, Jeremy Grantham, Howard Marks and Jeffrey Gundlach
By GREGORY ZUCKERMAN
Even the superstars swing and miss. Much of the time, in fact. That is as true in investing as it is in baseball.
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Voices: Ahmed Farruk, on Alternative Investments for Smaller Clients
WSJ
After five years, during which stocks and bonds have returned close to 15% and 5% respectively on an annual basis, there are questions about whether alternative investments still have merit for retail investors. That skepticism is due, in large part, to the fact that alternatives, including hedge funds, private equity, commodities, and managed futures strategies, haven’t kept pace with traditional equities and securities.
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Pensions & Institutions

Paul Singer’s hedge fund takes a dip
By Michelle Celarier, NY Post
During the past five years, Elliott gained between 8 percent and 9 percent annualized, depending on the fund. That’s below the S&P 500, but within the target return for most institutional investors.
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CalPERS boosts cash return through repurchase facility
Pensions & Investments
The one-year facility, created by the $301.7 billion California Public Employees’ Retirement System, Sacramento — in collaboration with the Options Clearing Corp. and agency securities lending provider eSecLending LLC — would provide Options Clearing with the option of a cash draw from CalPERS, facilitated by eSecLending, if a counterparty defaults on a derivatives trade.
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New York Discovers Wall Street Charges Fees
Bloomberg View
How much should you pay for investment management? I feel like a good benchmark is the expense ratio of the Vanguard 500 Index Fund’s small-investor shares, which is 0.17 percent. If you’re a big investor and you’re mostly trying to match the market, you should be charged a bit less than that. (Vanguard’s class of shares for bigger investors charges 0.05 percent.) If you’re doing fancy things to try to beat the market, you will be charged more; the average actively managed equity mutual fund charges something like 0.89 percent. Whether those fancy things provide any extra value is, of course, a hotly debated topic.
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Defined Contribution Pensions Gain Access to Private Equity
Institutional Investor
New products from Pantheon Ventures and Partners Group are part of a push by private equity firms to tap the defined contribution market.
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Regulation

CFTC Case Against Kraft Puts Cos. on Hedge
Joe Mont, Compliance Week
When does driving a hard bargain with your suppliers cross the line into market manipulation?
Any company that requires raw goods, and relies on the commodities futures markets to procure those materials or hedge against price increases, should take heed of a recent enforcement action the Commodity Futures Trading Commission took against Kraft Foods Group and Mondelez Global. The surprise that makes the case notable, and perhaps alarming for companies, is that the CFTC based its action on a section of the Dodd-Frank Act believed by many to be a check against market manipulation by high-frequency traders—not something an end-user like Kraft would ever need to worry about.
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CFTC Promotes SmartCheck Week to Fight Financial Fraud
By Bernice Napach, Senior Writer, ThinkAdvisor
CFTC says 80% of the financial fraud it has uncovered was committed by people who aren’t registered investment professionals. Investors can check registrations at CFTC’s SmartCheck website.
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U.S. agency wants brokers held to higher standards
By Becky Yerak Chicago Tribune
Would new standards have helped Crystal Lake couple that lost $109,000 on bad investments?
Crystal Lake couple lost more than $100,000. Would new rules have prevented it? In September 2008, as the financial crisis emerged, a retirement account of Al and Karin Betz slumped in value to $130,000 from about $160,000.
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