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Absolute Returns: The Risk and Opportunities of Hedge Fund Investing

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offers a solid, comprehensive guide to speculators, explaining the risks as well as the rewards. This book is a valuable addition to every investors library. (Financial World, July 2004)

It should be required reading for any investor who wants to understand the absolute returns alternative to conventional wealth management. )

required reading for any investor who wants to understand the absolute returns alternative to conventional wealth management (HedgeWorlds Inside Edge, 31 March 2003)

The hedge fund business is about achieving excellent risk-adjusted returns, not about beating the market. In other words, the hedge fund business is about absolute returns. But not all hedge funds are created equal. A poorly chosen hedge fund or portfolio of hedge funds can produce disappointing results.

In Absolute Returns: The Risk and Opportunities of Hedge Fund Investing, Alexander Ineichen-Head of Equity Derivatives Research for UBS Warburg in London and author of the widely read research publication In Search of Alpha: Investing in Hedge Funds-demystifies what hedge funds are, how they invest to generate superior risk-adjusted returns, and what the concurrent risks of investing in them are.

Part II: Risk and Opportunities of Absolute Return Strategies

. . . this book will introduce you to the new investment paradigm of absolute returns, outline the risk and opportunities of absolute return strategies, dispel the myths and misconceptions that have surrounded hedge funds, and provide a detailed look at the advantages and disadvantages of hedge fund investing.

Besides focusing on the characteristics and performance of single hedge funds, Absolute Returns also discusses the fund of hedge funds approach, a strategy in which a single fund invests in a portfolio of hedge funds. Ineichen explores the fund of hedge funds industry, the vehicles within this industry, as well as the potential for alpha in a fund of hedge funds.

There are essentially two main reasons to invest in hedge funds: superior performance and diversification. Absolute Returns will help you understand each of these topics as well as a number of other hedge fund issues you must be familiar with in order to succeed in this arena. Filled with helpful charts, real-world examples, and an informative appendix for each chapter, Absolute Returns will allow you to make more educated decisions about hedge fund investments.

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Under the title of Absolute Returns, the book is just an advertisement for the hedge fund industry. It is true that mutual fund industry has its own set of problems, and in no way this review should be seen as an attempt to discredit hedge funds while being under the impression that the mutual funds are good.

That having been said, the book goes on and on, repeating the same concept over and over. A hedge fund cannot be judged by a benchmark, because they define risk as total risk. Good. But then how do you define alpha ? What is alpha then really ? The whole concept of alpha says you are doing better than the average. But we dont want to be measured by an average. I am doing 100 trades a day and hold positions not more than a week only to be measured against risk free rate. Wow !. What a brilliant logic !

The book keeps repeating and quoting things from academic finance to bolster its case for hedge funds. We all know where relying on academic models brought us in 2008.

The problem with these people who work in banks is that instead of creating real value in the real world, all their time and effort is wasted in this pseudo science of money management. Self promotion has always been a hallmark of financial industry and this book is no exception.

The author presents a wideranging and at times very detailed discussion of hedgefunds. The writing style can be rather rambling with sayings of famous investment managers inserted at random and many sarcastic asides in footnotes. The work is rather polemical, trying to convince the reader that they should invest in hedge funds. The author emphasizes all the statistics which point to hedge funds having high returns and low risks and tries to explain away information which points to some high risks atached to hedge fund investing. I think his audience is an institutional investor (particularly European institutional investors) who is wondering whether they should look more closely at hedge funds. But he also insults this group along with about everyone else apart from hedge fund managers.

The iceberg on the cover represents total risk-partly visible and partly not. Ineichens point is that hedge fund or absolute return managers tackle total risk while their traditional mutual fund counterparts worry about only one part of it, namely the risk of straying from their benchmark. His extensive discussion contains worthy lessons for all investors who want to understand risk. While not every chapter may be useful for every reader, this book is an excellent place to learn about alternative investment strategies.

Hedge funds burst into the headlines in the early 1990s, when George Soros became a household name – at least in Europe, where many people blamed him and his hedge fund for wrecking the European exchange rate mechanism. Similarly, a U.S. hedge fund called Long Term Capital Management (LTCM) began with an aura of investing invincibility, only to fail dramatically. Hedge fund investing is sometimes, but not always, high risk and high return. Once limited to a privileged elite group of investors, hedge funds are now opening their rosters to less sophisticated, less wealthy speculators. But hedge funds are not just like any other funds, and anyone contemplating an investment needs a solid, comprehensive guide, such as this book. Author Alexander M. Ineichen, neither a salesman nor an alarmist, pulls no punches when discussing the risks of hedge funds. He is quite straightforward about the sometimes astonishing success of some hedge fund managers, but careful to point out the common misconceptions about them. Without hedging our bets, we find this book a valuable addition to every investors library.

This book has many fine features but has two serious drawbacks as well.

On the positive side, I have never read a more complete polemic in favor of the hedge fund industry. He shreds EMF with loads of good evidence and humorous anecdotes. However, there seems to be a constant drive to reinforce this point. Unfortunately, it takes away from a more thorough analysis of the types of hedge fund investing.

Another problem with the book is that it has trouble discovering its audience. At times, we get detailed descriptions of what alpha and beta represent (Finance 101) and at other times, abstruse PM concepts are brushed over as common knowledge.

I would definitely recommend this book but I recommend that the reader is accompanied by a Dictionary of Finance and Investing.

The book opens with an overview of hedge funds. He classifies hedge funds according to the strategies they employ: relative value, event driven, macro, etc. Not only does he explain the trading strategies, but he delves into what can go wrong. In general theres more discussions on equity related strategies, and less in interest rates. Theres lots of historical data/information on hedgefunds performance ,indicating the very poor performance (and high total risk) of traditional funds.

This book provides a nice introduction to hedgefunds, perhaps not so much news for experienced readers. At times theres very detailed information, in other parts the author provides only an overview (whos the audience?).

Alex writes well and helps one understand hedge funds in a logical way.See and discover other items:commodity trading,hedge fund

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