What are the Absolute Return (AR) Indices?

The Absolute Return (AR) Indices are designed to provide an accurate and impartial benchmark of hedge fund performance for the North American market.

The indices are based on data compiled and contained within the Absolute Return Database which feeds into the Absolute Return League Tables on a monthly basis.

All performance figures are inputted and checked individually to maintain an excellent level of accuracy.

Once a fund has a track record of three months it will appear in the league tables, but if submitted before the press date will be included before this period in the construction of its peer group index.

How Funds Qualify

Hedge Funds and Managed Futures regularly submit their details to be listed in the Absolute Return Database. A fund can only be added providing it is:

At least 80% managed or based North & South America

At this stage, there is no minimum size for a hedge fund to qualify.

How Funds are Classified

Once a fund fits the submission criteria it must then be classified into one of the existing categories. This is done by the Editor of Absolute Return in agreement with the fund managers.

As the market develops so too will the Absolute Return classifications over time. Categories may be added or modified to reflect the changes in the market, such as the recent addition of a new Mortgage Backed category. Notices will be posted on here to make you aware of such changes.

Methodology of Indices Calculations

Key strategies are given their own index so hedge fund managers can see the performance of their peer group as a whole. These figures are calculated using the performance data from the Absolute Return Database as it stands at the time Absolute Return goes to press.

  • All funds are included in the indices regardless of track record
  • All funds are equally weighed
  • Each Index is a median value of its peer group
  • All funds live and liquidated are included in the historical figures

Release Date

Estimated index figures are released on the 5th working day with finals realeased on or around the 20th of the month.. They are published in Absolute Return and available online.


Every December the track record of all the indices will be reviewed to see if market changes and addition of new funds warrant any updates in their history. The first revision since the creation of Absolute Return was done in February 2004 and all indices were marginally adjusted to reflect the changes in the markets, reflecting more complete data capture and the continuing growth in the number of funds listed. The last full revision was completed in March 2011.

Further Information

If you require any further information on Absolute Return data, research or indices, please contact us here.

Popular Searches on HFI