The Astarra funds were amongst the top performing sold retail in Australia.
According to the advert below it is because of market timing. Shawn Richard knew when to go to cash.
This suggests that his asset base was highly flexible – able to be converted into large licks of cash on market turns.
He says (in the picture) and I quote:
People ask me all the time how we do it.
To me it’s simple… why be fully invested in a deteriorating asset class? Investors don’t pay me to invest in cash, they pay me to get out of assets at the right time.
I believe that every asset class should be treated from an absolute return philosophy. If that means higher cash weighting for a short time then so be it.
Shawn Richard, Chief Investment Officer
Now if it was easy to shift Astarra funds to cash then it should be easy now. Alas Peter Johnston in an article in Investor Daily suggests otherwise:
AIOFP chief executive Peter Johnston said he disagreed with [the administrator’s plan of liquidating the funds] and that the AIOFP intended to voice its opinion on the matter.
"Because these assets of hedge funds are off-market assets ... if there's a fire sale, in other words if the administrator wants to get in there and just wants to wind it up in a bloody-minded sense, you're going to find they run the risk of devaluing the assets," Johnston said.
"We just disagree with their strategy. So we intend on voicing our opinions on this because they don't have any experience in dealing with hedge funds at all.
These are very peculiar assets. They can be liquidated in response to a market turn – but they can’t safely be liquidated in response to a court order.