Given that profit and asset levels are increasing, and the fact that many funds surpassed their high water marks, hedge fund bonuses should be up substantially. But remember, all funds are not created equal.
"For some roles, bonus numbers will be 25 percent to 50 percent higher than 2009," says one recruiter. However, "information is still trickling in and a couple of bad trades can alter that bonus picture."
His remarks underscore the plethora of good news lately in hedge fund circles: They attracted a hefty $19 billion of new capital in the third quarter alone - the best they've fared since the end of 2007. And today, Morningstar reports that its 1000 Hedge Fund Index rose 5.2 percent in September and 7.6 percent over the third quarter.
But if the glass is half full right now - it's not much more than half. Through the first nine months of the year, one major Absolute Return+Alpha reported that just 62 percent of hedge funds had produced gains, while 54 percent were below their high-water marks. In other words, almost half had investors who saw their contributions drop below pre-existing levels.
At those funds, people will be lucky to get coal at the end of the year.