The AdvisorShares Ranger Equity Bear ETF (HDGE) debuted just short of three years ago. For the first fifteen months or so it hung around the S&P 500 more or less, until kissing it goodbye in June of 2012. Since then, as you can see in the top panel of the chart, the performance roads for the two have diverged more and more each day.
HDGE is actively managed using a “bottom-up, fundamental, research driven security selection process.” It also has a load of fees, at last report 3.3% per year. Add those back in and you can see that the manager has beaten the inverse of the S&P quite handily, but only modestly after fees.
Basically it has done what you would have expected given the return on the market since inception. The total assets for the fund, shown in the bottom panel, have contracted even more than its price, as some owners grew weary of the hedge.
Yes, the bears have been in hibernation, although they will return someday (we know not when). Then those baiting the bears and calling them names and playing with their tails as they sleep had better have quick reflexes. (Chart: Bloomberg terminal.)