Hedge fund managers struggled through 2018, as market volatility and fee pressure cut into returns and profits. The top funds to watch in 2019 are a mix of well-known veterans, up-and-coming start-ups and star traders ready to set out on their own. Through the first half of 2018, hedge funds were getting along pretty well. The year did not finish on the same note. The third quarter was the first three-month stretch where fund closures outpaced launches in more than a year, and market volatility in October and November wiped out many managers' marginal gains for the year.