Investing in Hedge Funds by Joseph G. Nicholas

By Joseph G. Nicholas

One of many first books to demystify hedge money, this insightful, sensible, and easy-to-follow consultant presents how-to concepts observed by way of insights from most sensible fund managers.

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These strategies may have little or nothing in common except that they operate under the hedge fund structure and are considered to be alternatives to traditional investment approaches. Alternative investments differ from the traditional investment approaches used in mutual funds in many significant ways. Traditional investment strategies are exclusively long. Their practitioners seek stocks or bonds that they think will outperform the market. However, alternative investment strategies invest long, short, or both, combining two or more instruments to create one investment position.

Few businessmen have heard of him, although some with long memories may remember his articles in Fortune; he was a staff writer in the early 1940s. In any case, his performance in the stock market in recent years has made him one of the wonders of Wall Street—and made millionaires of several of his investors. On investments left with him during the five years ended last May 31 (when he closed his 1965 fiscal year), Jones made 325 percent. Fidelity Trend Fund, which had the best record of any mutual fund during those years, made “only” 225 percent.

Often, the “business culture” of the manager and the money management company will reflect these primary efforts, with less emphasis on selling and investor relations when compared with traditional investment operations. Since hedge fund managers are investing their own assets along with those of the other investors, they are highly motivated to achieve investment returns and to reduce risk. This motivation has translated into success, as evidenced by the significant growth of the hedge fund industry and the proliferation of hedge funds and managers.

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