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You read and hear a lot about hedge funds. Unfortunately, most of what you hear is negative because it comes from the major media that has an interest in reporting negatives about them because the major media is supported by so-called standard mutual funds and brokerage companies that spend big bucks for advertising. Hedge funds are NOT allowed to advertise.
First of all a hedge fund is almost identical to a mutual fund. There have actually been fewer fraud complaints about hedge funds than about mutual funds. That doesn't mean they don't lose money just as regular mutual funds do.
The underperformance of mutual funds is not highlighted in the press; you don't bite the hand that feeds you. I'm talking about advertising revenues. Would Janus, Invesco, Vanguard or any big fund family continue to place advertising dollars with someone who told stories about their losing funds or recommended that investors sell them to find a better performer? Hardly.
Mutual funds use customers' money to buy stock and bonds. Hedge funds are not limited to what they can buy. The can buy or short sell derivatives, commodities, options, oil and gas leases, freight rates and even take an investor's money to the race track (although I doubt if they would). The managers of these funds are specialists in their field of knowledge and many do extremely well. Just because they are different doesn't make them bad. Like all investments you must know where your money is going and how it is going to be invested.
The one major difference is how the fund manager is paid. Regular mutual fund managers are paid on how much money they manage and NOT on performance. Hedge fund managers usually receive 1% of the fund assets that goes for expenses and 20% of the profits they make for their investors. In other words if they don't make a profit for you they don't get paid. I sure would like to see them do that in regular mutual funds, but the Securities and Exchange Commission is the captive of the mutual fund industry so don't hold your breath. The true ability of fund managers would be exposed and many funds would disappear as the smart investors would be transferring their money to fund managers who have winning records every year. Yes, every year. No more of the nonsense of how they beat the S&P500 by 5% yet lost your money.
So many of the hedge fund articles say the investors are being hood winked into putting money into these funds. I don't think so. Almost every big state and corporate pension plan, university endowment, charitable trust and other large financial plans have money in hedge funds. Like any cautious investor they did their due diligence to find out the track record and management capabilities of the hedge fund.
You have to be rich to put money into a hedge fund. They require an income of $200,000 per year and assets of one million or more. Many require large initial investments.
If you qualify they are definitely a better place than a regular mutual fund, but you must do your due diligence.
Al Thomas' book, "If It Doesn't Go Up, Don't Buy It!" has helped thousands of people make money and keep their profits with his simple 2-step method. Read the first chapter at http://www.mutualfundmagic.com and discover why he's the man that Wall Street does not want you to know.
Which Way The Market
I am hearing predictions by brokers, financial planners, talk show hosts and the talking heads on TV that the market is going back to its old highs - DOW 11,700 and NASDAQ 5000 here we come.It seems to me that in 2000 I heard these same people saying there was no top to the market and were looking into their crystal balls for DOW 30,000 or some other fantastic number.
Forces that Move Stock Prices
Among the largest forces that affect stock prices are inflation, interest rates, bonds, commodities and currencies. At times the stock market suddenly reverses itself followed typically by published explanations phrased to suggest that the writer's keen observation allowed him to predict the market turn.
10 Tips For Creating Wealth From the Stock Market
1. Do not spread your money too thin.
The stock market has been going up for more than 7 months and many investors who held on through the big crash of 2000 are seeing their portfolios get back some of what had disappeared. Is now the time to sell those equities that are 'even' with what you paid for them? No.
Tips to Finding Other People's Simple Trading Plans
Did you know you can make money (and a lot of it) by simply modeling someone else's trading plan? Yes, it is true. Unbelievably, there are many of trading gurus doing it RIGHT NOW.
How To Beat The Mutual Fund Companies At Their Own Game
You'd have had to be living on a desert island with no TV, newspaper or internet connection to have missed hearing about the great mutual fund scandal of 2003.The issue was that some mutual fund companies allowed certain hedge funds to engage in after-hours trading, sometimes incorrectly referred to as market timing.
The Stock Market is a Roller Coaster: Prepare for the Ups and Downs
IT'S REMINISCENT OF THE OLD children's tale about an old Chinese farmer who tells his friends his story, and they enjoin with "That's good" or "That's bad" on alternating lines:Farmer: My horse ran away.Friends: That's bad.
Stock Trading Secrets?
How often have you come across an advertisement or e-mail proclaiming to "teach" you the stock trading secrets that Wall Street Insiders don't want you to know? Usually included in the descriptions of these trading products are claims such as "Make 10K monthly in minutes per day", or "Learn the secrets of Professional Stock Brokers", etc. etc.
Does Japan Matter?
For the last 12 years we have seen the Japanese stock market slowly sinking from a high of 38,000 to about 8,000, more than a 75% loss and very close to the price of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Why should we care about their stock market?Please understand that the stock market price is a reflection of the overall economy of a country.
Bollinger Bands Strategies
The Bollinger Band theory is designed to depict the volatility of a stock. It is quite simple, being composed of a simple moving average, and its upper and lower "bands" that are 2 standard deviations away.
Buying Mutual Funds
It looks like the market is ready to start up again so it is time to buy mutual funds, but you only want to invest your money in funds that go up. First, you don't want to start with a loss so be sure to purchase no-load mutual funds.
Four blind men were asked to give a description of an elephant. They had not seen one or ever encountered such a beast.
The Skinny on Mutual Fund Investing
Mutual fund investing is a lot like Thai cooking. Everyone has heard of it, most know a little something about it, but very few actually know how to do it and do it well.
Losses, not Profits, will Stop You from Trading in the Market
Should the market turn against you, it is important that you design a system that will produce as much loss as you are prepared to take. This loss, known as drawdown, is the maximum amount by which your trading float will temporarily drop at anytime.
The I Word is Coming to a Town Near You
Hello Inflation, it has been awhile, I see you on your way back again. Inflation? What inflation? Oh things like; Energy, diesel fuel, Aviation Fuel, Gasoline, Natural Gas, Milk, Wheat, Corn, Beef, Poultry, Hogs, Soy Beans, Building materials, paper, housing, Auto Prices, Health Care, Insurance, etc.
Inverted Interest Rates
Inverted interest rates? What's that? Who cares? Even if you don't understand what Mr. Greenspan is saying (and almost nobody does) it is important to you because it could mean you might lose you job next year or have to cut back on some of the things you want to acquire.
Planning Your Dive and Diving Your Plan - Trading!
A colleague of mine just returned from a scuba diving trip in Cozumel, which just happens to be one of my favorite places to dive. Anyway, she was telling me about an unexpected difficulty she encountered while swimming around the corral reef down about 85 feet.
The Top 10 Reasons to Invest in Mutual Funds
Everyone who follows the financial news has heard of mutual funds and knows the stock market has generally risen (with various ups-and-downs) for over 200 years. In fact, by most measures, the stock market has made more money for more people, and done it more reliably, than any other investment over the past 100 years! If you want to accumulate substantial wealth, you must include stocks in your investments!But, most people who "invest" don't study the market.
Protect Your 401K
Checked your 401K lately? Going back to about a year ago many of these retirement accounts have shrunk by 30%, some even more. What Happened?You have been putting money in for years and your employer may have been contributing to your plan also.
Selection Vs Direction
As I have said many times before in this column it really doesn't make any difference what you buy - stocks, funds or indexes - it takes smarts to know when to sell. Direction of the general market is more important than selection of any equity.
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