Wikinvest Wire

The new Pickens Plan is cash

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Wall Street Journal reports that investors are fleeing T. Boone Pickens' two hedge funds after huge losses over just the last few months.

It was not long ago (in early-July actually), that investors around the world were ogling the oil tycoon's energy stock holdings that had produced gains of 30 percent or more at mid-year.

That was when crude oil was closing in on $150 a barrel.

With the black goo now closing in on just $50 a barrel, there seems to be little interest in the energy patch here in October.

About half of the investors in T. Boone Pickens's energy-oriented equity hedge fund have asked to withdraw their money on the heels of losses of about 60% this year, according to people close to the matter. Mr. Pickens and his investment firm have lost $2 billion since peaking in late June, Mr. Pickens said Sunday on the CBS program "60 Minutes."

His fund, BP Capital, will have about between $400 million and $500 million after expected withdrawals. It started the year with about $2 billion. A few weeks ago, Mr. Pickens moved the fund almost entirely into cash to help ride out the volatility in the energy patch, according to people close to the matter.

Mr. Pickens is expected to personally hold about 20% of the fund after the withdrawals, or about $100 million, after he does some selling along with his investors. He has lost an estimated $400 million or so in his funds this year.
Energy stocks were on a tear today, the Energy Select Sector SPDR (NYSE:XLE) rising more than 15 percent...

Here's the 60-Minutes segment from two days ago (if you'd prefer a short and silent 5-second commercial instead of a longer, louder 30-second spot, go directly to the CBS website):

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