Concerns about global growth slowing down and the impact this is having on shifting investor interest towards global macro managed futures and fixed income away from equity strategies are highlighted in the BarclayHedge, MPI Hedge Fund Investor Survey.
The survey, which collected the views of 116 institutional hedge fund investors, asked for their thoughts between 2-27 November, 2018.
More than a third, 38%, said they saw slower economic growth as the biggest risk in 2019, significantly up from a similar survey in March 2018, when 12% responded thus.
Other top concerns for 2019 include rising interest rates, 29%, and a reversal in stock markets, 21%.
When asked how such concerns could influence investment decisions, more than a quarter, 27% said most interest over the coming 12 months would be in global macro managed futures, up from 22% the previous year.
And while interest in fixed income strategies notched a score of 17%, up from 1% the previous year, this mirrored a decline in interest in equity based strategies, to 21% from 29%.
Sol Waksman, president of the Backstop BarclayHedge division, said: "Growing interest in global macro managed futures strategies makes sense in light of the weakened commodity sector. That could create opportunities for investors to cash in on a commodity bounce in 2019."
When asked which characteristic of hedge funds will deliver the highest investor value in 2019, some 48% answered low correlation. About a quarter, 26%, said diversification, and 25% high risk-adjusted returns.