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One of the main benefits of hedge fund investments are to provide diversification at the total portfolio level. With both bond and equity markets facing major challenges, investors are increasingly seeking strategies that are not tied so tightly to the performance of the broader equity and fixed income markets. Over several years the survey has showed continued growth in alternatives wrapped in more accessible registered fund structures that offer daily liquidity, as opposed to the more traditional, and exclusive, private funds.
Clearly, the latest developments in alternative investing are as much about investment structures as investment strategies. Investors moving their exposure to hedge fund strategies into the regulated fund world are addressing these following issues without throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
The typical fee for a hedge fund used to be 2% asset-based management fee, with a 20% performance fee on top.
Many hedge funds allow only monthly or quarterly redemption and often include longer-term lockups after initial commitments. Hedge funds often only report to investors once a month, with a delay, and position-level transparency is not the norm. It is not always clear hedge fund directors are sufficiently engaged in governance, and in traditional funds of funds investors have little oversight of the selection of prime brokers, administrators and auditors.


This reflects an increasingly competitive hedge fund industry: managers are both more willing to adapt their hedge fund terms to match those of regulated funds and more willing to launch regulated funds to access a bigger pool of investors.
Investors are looking for downside protection while maintaining good returns--and market-neutral investing has become one of the hottest methods to meet that need. Nicholas, JD is founder and chairman of HFR Group, LLC, which includes HFR Asset Management, LLC, a fund-of-funds management company and Hedge Fund Research, Inc., a leading supplier of hedge fund data. The survey report notes, for instance, strong positive flows into multi-alternative regulated funds coincide with dwindling traditional fund-of-hedge-fund assets. Investing through a fund of funds at peak pricing could have added an additional 1% and 10%, respectively. Multi-manager alternative funds often utilize a separate account structure, as opposed to the traditional fund-of-funds model, and this ensures position-level transparency for the portfolio managers on a daily, or even real time, basis. This is happening largely without injurious hedge fund-style terms being smuggled into regulated fund structures, or the watering down of hedge fund strategies.
For multi-manager funds, they can help improve the process of monitoring the underlying managers and often allow the fund, and not the underlying managers, to select and directly oversee other fund service providers. Nicholas explores new approaches to return enhancement and risk reduction through market-neutral strategies.


Additionally, certain regulatory requirements applicable to registered funds require that all securities be maintained at a custodian bank and, therefore, the fund maintains total control over its assets. The complexities created by the combination of longs, shorts, and leverage, however, make market-neutral strategies very different from conventional investments.
Getting to know how these strategies work involves breaking them down into their basic components and then examining how those parts interact as a system with specific behavior characteristics.
This book examines eight key strategies, revealing the source of their past returns and giving the investor tools with which to measure the possibility of repeat performance. Nicholas draws extensively on his company's database of over three thousand hedge funds and from the daily portfolio analysis conducted for hedge fund portfolios. He has also incorporated extensive input and actual investment examples provided by managers and practitioners of each of the strategies discussed in the book. This is the one book that looks at market-neutral strategies head-on, assessing those that have worked and some notable ones that have failed--and explaining why.




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