US Videos

2 Alternative Funds That Made Hay From Volatility

Jason Kephart, CFA

Jason Kephart: Global macro is a small but growing subset of the multialternative category. In fact, the largest fund in the category, John Hancock Absolute Return Strategy (JHAAX), runs a global macro strategy.

Unlike most multialternative funds that combine two or more alternative strategies, these global macro funds are running a single strategy, but the managers have a lot of freedom to invest. They can go long or short in a variety of markets including global equities, global bonds, commodities, currencies--anything you could probably think of.

Since the fourth quarter [of 2014], these funds have really benefited from an increase in volatility in the currency markets. They've been able to go long the dollar and short the yen and euro; that's helped them become some of the top performers in the multialternative category.

Two global macro funds we really like are UBS Dynamic Alpha (BNAAX) and MFS Global Alternative Strategies (DVRAX). Both of them have Morningstar Analyst Ratings of Bronze, both have low fees versus other multialternative funds, and both did particularly well in the summer of 2011 when equity markets got extremely volatile.