Billionaire Paul Tudor Jones told Wall Street investors to bet on a spike in volatility right before markets went haywire

paul tudor jones

Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

Jones, founder and chief investment officer of Tudor Investment Corporation

  • Billionaire investor Paul Tudor Jones told Wall Street investors last week he expected market volatility to go up. It's been a long-term view for Jones, according to a person familiar with his fund.
  • His fund, which has largely struggled in recent years, is up 4.8% this year through January.

Hedge fund legend Paul Tudor Jones spoke at a private investor conference last week, and told a group of Wall Street investors he was betting on a spike in volatility.

One person who attended summarized Jones' comments. "It's the one thing I could guarantee," this person recalled Jones saying. "I'd be buying volatility all day."Advertisement

Jones made the comments last Monday, January 29, at Morgan Stanley's Breakers conference in South Florida, which is closed to the press. Business Insider confirmed Jones' comments with Tudor Investment Corporation, Jones' hedge fund.

To be sure, Jones has made similar comments before, according to a separate person who attended the conference, as have other hedge fund titans - from Baupost Group's Seth Klarman to Elliott' Management's Paul Singer. Last year, Jones told a private conference sponsored by Goldman Sachs that investors should be terrified of market valuations, Bloomberg reported.

Still, the comments came before a sharp selloff in stocks, triggered in part by better than expected wage growth. That has sent the Cboe Volatility Index - or VIX - soaring. The index was trading above 22 on Monday, up from around 14.5 when Jones made the comments.

Tudor's flagship fund, which runs a macro strategy, gained 4.8% in January, according to a person close to the firm. More recent figures were not available. Bloomberg reported the figures earlier Monday.

Other macro funds that have largely struggled are also seeing an uptick this year, such as Brevan Howard.The recent performance provides a rare bright spot for Tudor, which for years has suffered from underperformance.Advertisement

Last year, the flagship fund fell -2.2%, according to the person close to the firm.