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Guest post from the Hennessee Group.

Hennessee Group LLC, an adviser to hedge fund investors, believes the equity markets are likely to continue their momentum heading into the end of the year and lead to additional gains for investors during the month of December.  Charles Gradante, Co-Founder of the Hennessee Group, stated “We believe the ‘December Effect’, whereby investors choose to defer paying taxes on equity market gains until the following year, will provide additional support to the equity markets as we close out the year.”

Gradante added, “In addition, hedge funds have experienced gains in December over 93% of the time during these same calendar year periods.”

YTD Performance Through November

December Performance

Year

S&P 500 Index

Hennessee Hedge Fund Index

S&P 500 Index

Hennessee Hedge Fund Index

1995

34.98%

15.79%

1.93%

1.65%

1996

25.44%

17.67%

-1.98%

1.20%

1997

31.11%

16.84%

1.72%

1.16%

1998

21.57%

-0.28%

5.76%

1.70%

1999

14.31%

22.57%

5.89%

6.70%

2003

22.27%

16.75%

5.24%

1.76%

2004

7.23%

6.31%

3.40%

1.82%

2005

4.88%

6.10%

0.03%

1.66%

2006

14.19%

9.99%

1.40%

1.28%

2007

6.23%

10.85%

-0.69%

0.33%

2009

24.07%

22.48%

1.93%

2.23%

2010

7.86%

6.89%

6.68%

2.80%

2011

1.08%

-4.20%

1.02%

-0.42%

2012

14.96%

5.47%

0.91%

1.45%

Positive

14

12

12

13

“DECEMBER EFFECT”: EQUITY MARKETS AND HEDGE FUNDS

Hennessee Group recently conducted a brief study examining the historical performance of the equity markets and hedge funds when entering the final month of the year with positive year-to-date gains.  Hennessee Group focused on the calendar year periods dating back to 1995; using the S&P 500 Total Return Index and the Hennessee Hedge Fund Index as proxies.  As illustrated in the chart below, dating back to 1995, the S&P 500 Index has generated positive returns through November in fourteen calendar year periods and experienced additional gains in December 86% of the time.  In comparison, hedge funds managed to generate gains in twelve of the calendar year periods the S&P 500 Index was positive through November and experienced gains in December 93% of the time.

Dean Rubino, President of Terrapin Asset Management, LLC, stated, “The data supports the ‘December Effect Theory’ and bodes well for investors as we close out 2013.  Hennessee Research indicates that when the equity markets were positive through November, they gained on average +2.4% in December while hedge funds gained +1.8%.”

OPTIMISTIC HEDGE FUND OUTLOOK FOR 2014

While the Hennessee Group is optimistic for both the equity markets and hedge funds heading into the final month of the year due to the “December Effect”, we are more optimistic that hedge funds are well positioned for a good year on a relative basis in 2014.  The Hennessee Group believes fundamentals will matter again in the coming year which should lead to an increase in dispersion between sectors and individual stocks, particularly as the rally gets long in the tooth. In addition, the equity markets are likely to trade in a range as opposed to trend in one particular direction in 2014.  The Hennessee Group believes such an environment should favor hedge funds relative to their traditional counterparts as they will have the opportunity to generate alpha on the both the long and short side of their portfolios while not having to rely on market direction or beta for returns.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:

Hennessee Group LLC

212-857-4400

www.hennesseegroup.com

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