BUSINESS

Hedge Funds Are Richer Than Ever

Ray Dalio, founder and co-chief investment officer of Bridgewater Associates, USA, speaks during a panel session on the first
Ray Dalio, founder and co-chief investment officer of Bridgewater Associates, USA, speaks during a panel session on the first day of the 42nd annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, WEF, in Davos, Switzerland, Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2012. The overarching theme of the Meeting, which will take place from Jan. 25 to 29, is "The Great Transformation: Shaping New Models". (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

Things are looking pretty good for the superrich.

The largest Americas-based hedge funds are controlling more money than ever before, according to a new analysis by Absolute Return, a hedge fund news site.

Absolute Return tallied firms in North and South America that control more than $1 billion. It found that at the beginning of the year, 293 firms made the $1 billion cutoff, controlling roughly $1.71 trillion total. As of July 1, there were 305 hedge funds that made the cut, with a total of $1.84 trillion.

In all, the global hedge fund industry is managing a record amount of money, Absolute Return noted.

According to the Wall Street Journal, that record total was around $2.8 trillion as of July 2014. Hedge funds controlled significantly less money in 2007 -- before the financial crisis -- with assets worth about $1.87 trillion, the WSJ reported.

Absolute Return found that two of every three hedge funds controlling more than $1 billion increased in size this year. And when it comes to the largest funds, Bridgewater Associates still tops the charts: It manages some $93.7 billion.

The surge in hedge fund assets underscores the highly uneven economic recovery that followed the financial crisis. A resurgent stock market has allowed wealthy Americans to recover their losses, while the wages of most Americans have stagnated.