Study predicts that hedge fund industry cannot beat the S&P beyond a certain size in assets under management. : When I started my hedge fund career in 1998, the industry controlled about $200 billion in assets in 3,000 funds. Today, according to BarclayHedge numbers, there are between 10,000 and 15,000 funds investing over $3 trillion. But we seem to have lost a little something along the glorious speedway of growth. Performance, to be precise.