For John Paulson, it is all about gold these days. The billionaire founder of Paulson & Co., who has about 90 percent of his net worth riding on the ups and downs of the precious metal, racked up a 13.24 percent return in his Gold hedge fund in February. As a result, the fund is down less than 1 percent for the year after losing 12 percent in January.
The Paulson Gold Fund, launched in January 2010, managed about $900 million at year-end. It was up more than 35 percent net last year. In addition, the gold classes of Paulsons funds rose between 30 percent and 45 percent and outperformed the comparable cash classes by an average of 25 percentage points.
Meanwhile, Paulson's other funds generated much smaller returns in February. Paulson Partners was up 1.64 percent, and is up 4.01 percent year-to-date; Advantage was up 1.62 percent (1.87 percent); Advantage Plus 2.25 percent (2.79 percent); and Recovery 3.53 percent (4.46 percent).
In 2010, Paulsons funds generated more than $8.4 billion in gross gains before fees, about $6 billion of it in the dollar share class and the rest in the gold class. He finished the year with slightly less than $36 billion in assets under management.