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Hedge fund research guide

By Mansi gupta

The origin of Hedge Funds dates back to the year 1948 when Alfred Jones, a Harvard University graduate, while writing about current investment trends was inspired to try his hand at managing money. He followed his instinct and came up with the innovation to sell short some stocks while buying others. Thus, he raised $100,000 and got some of the market risk hedged. Further, he employed leverage in an effort to enhance his returns. Then in the year 1966, an article in the Fortune magazine highlighted an investment that had outperformed the mutual funds. This gave birth to the hedge fund industry. Just after two years, there were about 140 hedge funds operating. However, a number of hedge funds collapsed in the period from 1969 to 1970. But this downtrend didn't continue for long and the hedge fund market got a new life in 1986 when a hedge fund captured the interest of the investors because of its outstanding performance. After this the ups and downs continued but the hedge fund industry is still prospering and currently there are more than 7000 hedge funds in the United States, with an estimated US $750 billion in assets with a strong role-play in the financial market. They are believed to account for as much as 20% of all US stock trading.

As investors are gradually recognizing the value of hedge funds, the need for the study and research in this field has multiplied. According to a recent study hedge funds do not fall into a strategic asset class. Thus is because hedge funds are heterogeneous and cannot be modeled. Most hedge funds highly specialized and their performance depends on the expertise of the manager of the management team. The returns from hedge funds are usually consistent and have over a period of time outperformed standard equity and bond markets. These have a much lower risk factor as compared to equities. They use a strategy or a set of strategies other than investing long in bonds, equity, mutual funds and money markets. These strategies have the propensity to generate positive returns irrespective of the rise or fall in equity and bond markets.

According to a latest research on hedge funds one classic hedge fund strategy that is gaining popularity is "paired trade". In this strategy an investor buys shares of a company that is doing well, while short selling another company (usually in the same sector or industry) that is struggling. By purchasing shares in one company, and selling borrowed shares short in another, hedge funds can make a greater return than if they just entered a single trade. This strategy offers tremendous profit potential for professional traders. Experts say that this strategy is gaining popularity off late, because hedge funds hedge funds have been struggling to generate the exciting returns to justify charging their investors 20% of profit and a 2% management fee.

Today, in spite of the fluctuations seen in the last few years, the hedge fund industry is flourishing as people have realized that hedge funds can prove to be beneficial as long as they plan there moves carefully.
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