John Paulson, the billionaire money manager having his worst year, has lost 46 percent in 2011 through November in one of his largest hedge funds, according to an investor update obtained by Bloomberg News. Paulson’s Advantage Plus Fund, which seeks to profit from corporate events such as takeovers and bankruptcies and uses leverage to amplify returns, declined 3.6 percent last month. The fund’s gold share class dropped 2.7 percent in November and 29 percent this year.
Paulson & Co., which is based in New York and manages $28 billion, has lost money this year on investments including Citigroup Inc., Bank of America Corp. and Sino-Forest Corp., the Chinese forestry company accused by short-seller Carson Block of overstating timberland holdings. Paulson, 55, cut the so-called net exposure in his main hedge funds to 30 percent last month and reduced bullish bets across all his funds. Net exposure is calculated by subtracting the percentage of a hedge fund’s short positions, or bets on falling securities, from its longs, or wagers on rising stocks and bonds.
Armel Leslie, a spokesman for Paulson, declined to comment on the firm’s returns.
Paulson’s biggest funds, Advantage Plus and Advantage, employ similar strategies and have $11 billion in combined assets. The dollar-denominated Advantage Fund fell 3.3 percent in November and 32 percent this year. Its gold share class slumped 1.5 percent last month and 13 percent in 2011. Paulson investors can choose between dollar- and gold-denominated versions for most of the firm’s funds.
The Gold Fund, which can buy derivatives and other gold- related investments, rose 1.3 percent in November and 11 percent this year. The Recovery Fund, which invests in assets Paulson believes will benefit from a long-term economic upturn, fell 4 percent in November and 28 percent this year. The gold share class declined 2.2 percent last month and 12 percent in the year’s first 11 months. Paulson has been betting on a U.S. economic recovery by the end of 2012. The Paulson Partners Enhanced Fund, which invests in the shares of merging companies, decreased 0.6 percent last month and 18 percent this year. Its gold share class advanced 0.7 percent in November and declined 0.9 percent in 2011.
Paulson’s Credit Opportunities Fund slumped 3.6 percent last month and 18 percent this year. Its gold shares dropped 1.6 percent in November and gained 0.3 percent in 2011.