RANKED: The 10 biggest hedge funds in the US

Ray Dalio, founder, co-chief investment officer and co-chairman of Bridgewater Associates, speaks at the 2017 Forbes Under 30 Summit in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. October 2, 2017. Brian Snyder/Reuters

Hedge funds are the wild cards of financial markets with less regulation, formality, and scrutiny then the big banks yet still managing assets worth billions of dollars. Some sharply criticize their activities and lack of transparency, but others say they bring valuable diversity to markets and act as shock absorbers against volatility.

The sector saw it’s best results since 2013 last year, producing an 8.5% return up, from 5.4% in 2016. But despite the stronger outlook, back-to-back loses in recent months caused by trade disputes, tech sector setbacks, and interest-rate hikes by the Federal Reserve have dampened returns.

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