Conventional investing wisdom would have you believe that anybody who has remained bearish on global markets since the financial crisis has not only lost a boatload of money, but has missed out on the opportunity to cash in on one of the most torrid bull markets in recent memory.
However, as Horseman Global's Russell Clark has proven over and over again, this simply isn't true. A few years back, we anointed Horseman with the title "The world's most bearish hedge fund" for a very simple reason: Of all existing asset managers, Horseman may be the one with the biggest and longest net short position in history. Just look at the chart below, which shows not only that Clark's net exposure was (as of March) a staggering -88.14%, with a gross short position of 160%, but that he had been effectively net short since 2011!
Yet, to assume that Clark has lost his shirt over the past ten years would be a mistake. Actually, his fund outperformed the S&P 500 for the period between 2011 - when he first went net short - to the end of 2018 (when the Q4 meltdown helped his fund post double-digit returns well above its benchmark).
In 2014, Clark posted double-digit returns when oil prices cratered (he was short). In 2013, he made money shorting Brazilian equities. He started with just $111 million when he took over the fund in January 2011, but AUM peaked at $1.5 billion in 2015.