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Alan Howard, the Super-Secret Macro Trader

The hedge fund manager traded his way to a 100% gain in investor cash, by far the best among peers, as the coronavirus pandemic sent global markets into a tailspin.


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Traders like Alan Howard place bets on macro trends, reading which way economies will turn and then wagering on everything from interest rates to stocks to currencies. His specialty is rates trading using borrowed money, which allows him to take bigger risks to achieve outsize returns.

That’s about all that’s known about the highly secretive dealings of the Brevan Howard AH Master Fund—other than that the “AH” are Howard’s initials. It’s not clear precisely what moves he made to double investor cash in the first four months of 2020, when peers returned a little less than 3% on average, according to Bloomberg’s index of macro hedge funds, of which the AH Master Fund is not part. It’s also unclear how his fund has performed since April. (One clue: Brevan Howard’s main fund, which invests in the AH Master Fund, was up almost 23% through October.) But this fall he began raising $500 million based on his success earlier this year.