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Human-Run Hedge Funds Trounce Quants in Covid Year

  • Coatue, Tiger, Viking pace stock-pickers to top returns in ‘20
  • Market tumult upended some of the best-known quant behemoths
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Ritholtz on Hedge Fund Managers Versus Quants, Indexed Assets
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Turns out, the hedge fund industry’s swashbucklers haven’t been made obsolete by the machines just yet.

After years of being outgunned and outclassed by computer-driven quantitative strategies, human stock-pickers climbed back on top in 2020, helped by aggressive bets in technology and the flood of central bank money that buoyed markets. The dizzying gyrations of the pandemic-stricken year humbled even the most sophisticated of quants -- notably behemoths Renaissance Technologies and Two Sigma -- whose trading models were thrown off by swings their computers had never seen before.