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from Global Investing:

After disappointing start to 2013, how will hedge funds catch up?

Despite the early-year rally in equity markets, some hedge funds seem to have had a disappointing start... yet again.

JP Morgan notes that the industry's benchmark HFRI index was up 2.8% by end-February,  well below the 4.6% for MSCI All-Country index.

Some 4.2 percent of hedge funds suffered losses of at least 5% in the first two months of year, compared with 3.3% in the same period in 2012. Still, this is better than 2008/2009, when losses of this magnitude were seen at more than one in five of hedge funds. According to JP Morgan:

In all, this performance picture is rather unexciting, raising the chance that hedge funds will add risk near term to chase the current momentum in equity markets. This performance chasing happened in each of the previous two years, with hedge funds raising their betas during March/April of 2011 or 2012.

from Full Focus:

Imaging religion: Navesh Chitrakar

Nepal-based photographer Navesh Chitrakar documents almost all the country's religious festivals. In this interview, Navesh discusses the art of photography and reflects on the state of the nation's festivals.

from Global Investing:

Running for gold? The long-distance investor

What are you best at? Running a sprint?  Jumping a few hurdles? Or would you rather gear up for the long-haul with a marathon?

With the London 2012 Olympics in full speed UK investors are going for the long-distance rather than try to follow in Usain Bolt's speed-lightning sprints, a poll by Barclays Stockbrokers showed.

from Global Investing:

Currency hedging — should we bother?

Currency hedging -- should we bother?

Maybe not as much as you think, if we are talking purely from a equity return point of view -- according to the new research that analysed 112 years of the financial assets history released by Credit Suisse and London Business School this week.

Exchange rates are volatile and can significantly impact portfolios -- but one can never predict if currency moves erode or enhance returns. Moreover, hedging costs (think about FX overlay managers, transaction costs, etcetc).

from Photographers' Blog:

The China I met: A land of contradictions

Reuters photographer Nir Elias is pictured while walking with some 1000 other survivors during a 9-hour trek from the village of Qingping to Hanwang in the earthquake-hit Mianzhu, Sichuan Province as he covers the earthquake aftermath May 16, 2008. REUTERS/Stringer

When I got the senior photographer job in Shanghai in late 2005, Reinhard Krause, who was China’s chief photographer, well advised me to drop any preconceptions I might have about the place.

Below is an audio slideshow based on my portfolio of work from China, where I discovered a land of contradictions.

from The Great Debate UK:

Light at the end of the tunnel for the U.S. economy?

Kully Samra

- Kully Samra is UK Branch Director, Charles Schwab. The opinions expressed are his own.-

The last year was an unbelievable roller coaster ride in the financial world.  In the U.S. we saw the S&P 500 plunge to 667, a 12-year low, in March, and then rise over 60 percent from that low as the economy moved away from the edge of the cliff and started to recover.

from Summit Notebook:

Private bankers chanting new mantra

Private bankers still getting their ears bashed from clients enraged about massive portfolio losses now are chanting a new mantra.

    Murmur along with me, those seeking inner peace and appeased clients: the word is “holistic".

from The Great Debate UK:

Where Next For The Stock Market?

david Kuo-David Kuo, Director at the financial website The Motley Fool. The opinions expressed are his own.-

It wasn’t supposed to happen. Shares were not supposed to rise between May and September. That is if you believe the old stock market adage that says you should sell in May and go away, and don’t come back until St Legers Day.

from Global Investing:

Rich people keep passion investing

The credit crisis has hit the world's super rich, with their financial wealth shrinking by almost a fifth in 2008, but they are flocking to luxury goods and jewellery in a  flight-to-safety.

A survey by Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management and CapGemini found that the population of high net worth individuals (HNWI), with net assets of at least $1 million, fell 14.9 percent in 2008 from the year before. The population of ultra high net worth individuals, with net assets of at least $30 million, fell 24.6 percent.

from Environment Forum:

Green Portfolio: Pacific Ethanol plummets

A gas station worker fills a car's tank with ethanol in Rio de Janeiro April 30, 2008. REUTERS/Sergio Moraes

Shares in Pacific Ethanol lost almost half their value in morning trading after the biggest West Coast-based producer and marketer of ethanol announced that it had put its production facilities in California, Oregon and Idaho into Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The company said on May 12 that it would likely need to file for bankruptcy if it was not able to restructure its debt.

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