James Simons, director of Renaissance Technologies Corp.
Brendan Smialowski | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Despite a volatile stock market and a brewing recession, Renaissance Technologies and founder Jim Simons may be on track for record-breaking returns in 2020.
Its chief Medallion hedge fund is up 24% this year through April 14, according to investors who spoke to the Wall Street Journal.
That’s well ahead of the broader stock market, which is down more than 11% since the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus and government efforts to contain its spread threaten to bring many economies to a near standstill.
Much of the Medallion’s impressive year-to-date gain is thanks to a 9.9% gain in March, one of the worst months in modern financial history, the Journal reported. Those gains are even more impressive considering its steep investor fees, including a reported cut of 36% or more of all trading gains and 5% of all money invested.
Before the fees, Medallion was up about 39% for the year, the Journal reported.
Simons reinvented investing when he left academia in the 1970s to launch his trading enterprise. Relying on hard data and mathematics, Simons has built one of the most successful quantitative firms on Wall Street, which is staffed by a host of physics PhDs.
Years of success and outsized returns have placed him in a class of his own, eclipsing fellow legendary investors like Ray Dalio and Warren Buffett. By some estimates, the flagship Medallion Fund has returned 66% annually, or 39% after fees, since 1998.
Though Simons no longer has direct oversight of the fund, which exclusively manages employee money, he remains active at the firm.
— Click here to read the original Wall Street Journal report.
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