Crispin Odey’s European hedge fund offered proof that the wheels did not entirely come off of short investing in October, posting a 2.57% loss versus a -12.91% index return.
The result came despite a top five holding (3.5%) in Volkswagen which cost the fund -1.65% in the month as investors were caught out by Porsche’s surprise takeover.
The 5.69% growth from short equity positions was the sole strategy to remain positive in October and was not enough to outweigh the negative hit from other asset classes.
Long equity positions were down 7.44% over the month, while index futures were down 0.36%.
In his commentary for the month, Odey struck a bullish tone but questioned whether investors who were nursing heavy losses would be prepared to commit to markets.
‘Today they offer returns that are mouth-watering, but will investors, who have never taken a risk before take one when the return/risk profiles are clearly in favour of the risk taker?’ he asked.
The fund’s orientation suggested Odey has little time for warnings about an imminent crisis among insurers, with his largest long overweight in the sector. Banks remained his largest short position.
Citywire verdict: Odey’s fund has suffered in recent months and his reputation took a hit after he revealed his short exposure of 0.35% on Investec in October. That said, he is highly regarded in the industry and has made some shrewd moves in the current environment. Citywire continues to back him.