Carl Icahn’s hedge fund posted a 33% decline in January following a 22% decline in December. Based on those returns it looks like Icahn is either in some highly leveraged positions or a very risky financials heavy portfolio. My guess would be the former since financials were not down in December. He’s likely running the fund at 130% long and my guess is that Icahn fared even worse in February than he did in January considering the carnage that February so pleasantly bestowed upon anyone heavily long anything.
“Our 2008 results failed to meet expectations,” Mr. Icahn told his investors in the letter, sent out last month.
”We were too early putting on our long credit positions as well as taking off some of our short credit exposure,” he wrote in the letter. Positions in Motorola, Yahoo and credit cost the fund 37 percent last year.
Those are staggering monthly returns for such a veteran investor. The total lack of risk management is astounding for someone of his stature. You can’t undergo 20%+ swings and call yourself a savvy risk manager or money manager. No one on the planet can have that kind of volatility in their portfolio before it catches up with you..This market is killing even the very best investors. Berkshire Hathaway is trading down another 5% today….
Mr. Roche is the Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Discipline Funds.Discipline Funds is a low fee financial advisory firm with a focus on helping people be more disciplined with their finances.
He is also the author of Pragmatic Capitalism: What Every Investor Needs to Understand About Money and Finance, Understanding the Modern Monetary System and Understanding Modern Portfolio Construction.