I just read the article linked below here. Specifically, there’s a plot showing long term returns of Bridgewater's investments (all of them?), the S&P 500, and an average hedge fund. The plot indicates that Bridgewater's funds have significantly under-performed the market over the last 8 years (less than half the returns of the S&P 500). Is this true? If so, is it due to different goals? E.g. maybe Bridgewater’s investments strive to be lower risk (for people planning to withdraw their money in the short term)?
This question is not well formulated as Bridgewater opeates 2 funds:
Alpha - The one you referenced and it has done well over the years. It doesn’t mean it beats the market every year.
Beta - This fund uses the risk parity approach to implement a all weather portfolio of stocks, bonds and comotities. Leveraged to achieve volatility targets.
The Bridgewater Pure Alpha fund might be the top performing hedge fund of 2018.
I think that Renaissance Technologies has one of the more consistent hedge funds.
ALWAYS be skeptical of odd time frames, always.
This Bloomberg chart of the firm’s annual returns between 1991 and 2017 illustrates the story:
Why on earth are you showing me 26 years of data? (it's because that's the genesis of the fund, but be skeptical first)
Finally, this TipRanks chart shows him falling far behind the S&P 500 over the past five years:
It doesn't show five years, it shows six. And it starts at the beginning of a relatively uneventful six year period directly following two consecutive hugely outperforming years.
And the Bridgewater alpha fund returned 15% in 2018 while the S&P 500 returned -4.3%...