Despite the market turbulence in May, the first four months of 2006 proved to be the best start to a year since 1999. The Absolute Return Composite Index gained 5.55% through April; over the same period in 1999, the Composite rose 6.3%. This year's first third is a far cry from last year, when the Composite lost 0.46% through April.
Much of the recent performance has been driven by smaller funds and by funds investing in commodities, which have experienced enormous runups this year.
Commodity trading advisors, for example, posted a median gain of 1.77% in April, bringing