How Big is Managed Futures’ AUM, Exactly?

We tweeted the other day that Managed Futures mutual funds had seen 20 straight months of inflows, and that got us to thinking it was high time to do our annual look at how many assets there are under management in the managed futures industry.


Now, for those who don’t know – we have a bit of a problem with the usual numbers reported as assets under management in the space by Barclayhedge, who include the world’s largest hedge fund Bridgewater in the managed futures asset total.  In our opinion, this does a disservice to investors, vendors, and business people in the industry trying to gauge the size of the space and where they fit into it.  Add to that the fact that Winton is a $30 Billion+ manager who tends to dominate the asset raising in the space, and it’s not too big of a stretch to say the majority of assets as reported by BarclayHedge are from just two firms (Bridgewater and Winton).

That’s led us to pick apart the numbers a bit and report what the “real” assets and asset growth look like without those two stalwarts (one of which is not managed futures based at all). Without further ado, here’s what the rest of the space looks like:

Managed Futures Total Assets 2015_Final2

What about the Growth in assets:

Here’s where things get interesting, because while stripping out Bridgewater and Winton in years past showed a shrinking industry (the “field”) without those two big dogs, 2015 showed quite the opposite. The so called “field” added around $18 Billion in 2015 (22% growth), although we can see from the graphic that assets are still down from their 2008 levels with the growth just negative since then.

Growth of MF since 09

Growth of MF in 2015

  • Assets of “the field” grew by 22% in 2015
  • Assets of “the field” is still down $4 Billion since ‘08
  • “The field” raised $22 Billion in the final 3 quarters of ‘15
  • AQR is, for now, a member of our ‘field’, but at $10.9 Billion and $2.6 billion raised in 2015, may need to be split out in the near future
What’s the takeaway?
The larger takeaway is that investors who seemingly forgot about the 2008 financial crisis and how well managed futures do in such periods are starting to remember where they put the diversification keys… and are starting to put real money to work with real managers, not just the Wintons and AQRs of the world – who need more assets like a hole in the head. Here’s to more growth ahead, not just from investors allocating funds, but from the managers multiplying those funds via their trading strategies as well.

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Disclaimer
The performance data displayed herein is compiled from various sources, including BarclayHedge, RCM's own estimates of performance based on account managed by advisors on its books, and reports directly from the advisors. These performance figures should not be relied on independent of the individual advisor's disclosure document, which has important information regarding the method of calculation used, whether or not the performance includes proprietary results, and other important footnotes on the advisor's track record.

Benchmark index performance is for the constituents of that index only, and does not represent the entire universe of possible investments within that asset class. And further, that there can be limitations and biases to indices such as survivorship, self reporting, and instant history.

Managed futures accounts can subject to substantial charges for management and advisory fees. The numbers within this website include all such fees, but it may be necessary for those accounts that are subject to these charges to make substantial trading profits in the future to avoid depletion or exhaustion of their assets.

Investors interested in investing with a managed futures program (excepting those programs which are offered exclusively to qualified eligible persons as that term is defined by CFTC regulation 4.7) will be required to receive and sign off on a disclosure document in compliance with certain CFT rules The disclosure documents contains a complete description of the principal risk factors and each fee to be charged to your account by the CTA, as well as the composite performance of accounts under the CTA's management over at least the most recent five years. Investor interested in investing in any of the programs on this website are urged to carefully read these disclosure documents, including, but not limited to the performance information, before investing in any such programs.

Those investors who are qualified eligible persons as that term is defined by CFTC regulation 4.7 and interested in investing in a program exempt from having to provide a disclosure document and considered by the regulations to be sophisticated enough to understand the risks and be able to interpret the accuracy and completeness of any performance information on their own.

RCM receives a portion of the commodity brokerage commissions you pay in connection with your futures trading and/or a portion of the interest income (if any) earned on an account's assets. The listed manager may also pay RCM a portion of the fees they receive from accounts introduced to them by RCM.

See the full terms of use and risk disclaimer here.

Disclaimer
The performance data displayed herein is compiled from various sources, including BarclayHedge, RCM's own estimates of performance based on account managed by advisors on its books, and reports directly from the advisors. These performance figures should not be relied on independent of the individual advisor's disclosure document, which has important information regarding the method of calculation used, whether or not the performance includes proprietary results, and other important footnotes on the advisor's track record.

Benchmark index performance is for the constituents of that index only, and does not represent the entire universe of possible investments within that asset class. And further, that there can be limitations and biases to indices such as survivorship, self reporting, and instant history.

Managed futures accounts can subject to substantial charges for management and advisory fees. The numbers within this website include all such fees, but it may be necessary for those accounts that are subject to these charges to make substantial trading profits in the future to avoid depletion or exhaustion of their assets.

Investors interested in investing with a managed futures program (excepting those programs which are offered exclusively to qualified eligible persons as that term is defined by CFTC regulation 4.7) will be required to receive and sign off on a disclosure document in compliance with certain CFT rules The disclosure documents contains a complete description of the principal risk factors and each fee to be charged to your account by the CTA, as well as the composite performance of accounts under the CTA's management over at least the most recent five years. Investor interested in investing in any of the programs on this website are urged to carefully read these disclosure documents, including, but not limited to the performance information, before investing in any such programs.

Those investors who are qualified eligible persons as that term is defined by CFTC regulation 4.7 and interested in investing in a program exempt from having to provide a disclosure document and considered by the regulations to be sophisticated enough to understand the risks and be able to interpret the accuracy and completeness of any performance information on their own.

RCM receives a portion of the commodity brokerage commissions you pay in connection with your futures trading and/or a portion of the interest income (if any) earned on an account's assets. The listed manager may also pay RCM a portion of the fees they receive from accounts introduced to them by RCM.

See the full terms of use and risk disclaimer here.