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Friday May 26 2017
 
What is a Hedge Fund?
  What is a Hedge Fund?
  Key Characteristics of Hedge Funds
  Facts About the Hedge Fund Industry
  Hedging Strategies
  Popular Misconception
  Benefits of Hedge Funds
  Hedge Fund Styles
  What is a Fund of Hedge Funds?
  Synopsis of Hedge Fund Strategies
  Facts About the Hedge Fund Industry
  Hedge vs Mutual Funds

What is a Hedge Fund?

A hedge fund is a fund that can take both long and short positions, use arbitrage, buy and sell undervalued securities, trade options or bonds, and invest in almost any opportunity in any market where it foresees impressive gains at reduced risk. Hedge fund strategies vary enormously many hedge against downturns in the markets especially important today with volatility and anticipation of corrections in stock markets. The primary aim of most, but not all, hedge funds, is to reduce volatility and risk while attempting to preserve capital and deliver positive returns under all market conditions.

       There are approximately 14 distinct investment strategies used by hedge funds, each offering different degrees of risk and return. A macro hedge fund, for example, invests in stock and bond markets and other investment opportunities, such as currencies, in hopes of profiting on significant shifts in such things as global interest rates and countries’ economic policies. A macro hedge fund is more volatile but can potentially deploy greater assets than a distressed-securities hedge fund that buys the equity or debt of companies about to enter or exit financial distress. An equity hedge fund may be global, country specific or industry specific, hedging against downturns in equity markets by shorting what they determine to be overvalued stocks or stock indexes. A relative value hedge fund takes advantage of price or spread inefficiencies. Knowing and understanding the characteristics of the many different hedge fund strategies is essential to capitalizing on their variety of investment opportunities.

       It is important to understand the differences between the various hedge fund strategies because all hedge funds are not the same investment returns, volatility, and risk vary enormously among the different hedge fund strategies. Some strategies, which are not correlated to equity markets, are able to deliver consistent returns with extremely low risk of loss, while others may be as, or more, volatile than mutual funds. A successful fund of funds recognizes these differences and blends various strategies and asset classes together to create more stable long-term investment returns than any of the individual funds.

  • Hedge fund strategies vary enormously – many, but not all, hedge against market downturns – especially important today with volatility and anticipation of corrections in stock markets.
  • The primary aim of most, but not all, hedge funds is to reduce volatility and risk while attempting to preserve capital and deliver positive (absolute) returns under all market conditions.
  • The popular misconception is that all hedge funds are volatile that they all use global macro strategies and place large directional bets on stocks, currencies, bonds, commodities or gold, while using lots of leverage. In reality, less than 5% of hedge funds are global macro funds. Most hedge funds use derivatives only for hedging or don’t use derivatives at all, and many use no leverage. 

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