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What we said about hedge funds

May 1986 – Julian Robertson Jr. was making headlines for breaking records in the hedge fund industry.

May 1986 – Julian Robertson Jr. was making headlines for breaking records in the hedge fund industry. Our cover story chronicled the impressive growth of Tiger Management Corp., the hedge fund firm Robertson started in 1980 with just $8 million. In his year-end report to his limited partners, he offered some advice indicative of his fund’s spectacular performance. “Bluntly, if you are not planning on buying emeralds or diamonds, don’t show your wife this letter,” he quipped. Tiger was up 63 percent in 1985, its best annual return at the time, in what would be a hugely successful 20-year run. Robertson had logged compounded annualized returns of 25 percent when Tiger closed its doors to outside money in 2000. In this month’s “Hedge Fund Hall of Fame” on page 81, Robertson says the proliferation of hedge funds today could lead to lower returns. “More people in the business means the tools of the trade become more expensive to use,” he says.