A hedge fund is commonly used name for a private investment partnership. A hedge fund is a business structure used to offer an investment program. Hedge funds are typically structured as a Limited Partnership, but may also be a Limited Liability Company. The hedge fund is structured as a business – the business of investing and trading. A hedge fund that trades securities in exchange markets typically has one large pooled account at a broker and its investors own shares of the fund.
According to the Hedge Fund Association:
Hedge funds refer to funds that can use one or more alternative investment strategies, including hedging against market downturns, investing in asset classes such as currencies or distressed securities, and utilizing return-enhancing tools such as leverage, derivatives, and arbitrage.
At a time when world stock markets appear to have reached excessive valuations and may be due for further correction, hedge funds provide a viable alternative to investors seeking capital appreciation as well as capital preservation in bear markets. The vast majority of hedge funds make consistency of return, rather than magnitude, their primary goal.
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.
Key characteristics of hedge funds
Many, but not all, hedge fund strategies tend to hedge against downturns in the markets being traded. Hedge funds are flexible in their investment options (can use short selling, leverage, derivatives such as puts, calls, options, futures, etc.). Hedge funds benefit by heavily weighting hedge fund managers’ remuneration towards performance incentives, thus attracting the best brains in the investment business.
Hedge Funds 101 Slide Show;
hedge fund, hedge fund structure, hedge fund management, hedge fund strategies, hedge fund managers