Investing in a Hedge Fund: An Investors’ Technique

2019/05/30

Have you tried investing in a hedge fund? If not yet, it’s vital to understand how the funds make money and how much risk you can take on them as it can be a complicated thing for a beginner.

What are Hedge Funds?

Hedge funds, facing less regulation than mutual funds and other investment vehicles, are substitute investments using collective funds that work in various strategies to gain an active return. The following information will give you insights about multiple approaches in hedging funds.

1.Long/Short Equity

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Initiated by Alfred W. Jones in 1949, the strategy — Long/Short Equity — is still in and being utilized on the lion’s share of equity hedge fund reserves currently. It has a simple concept: It’s a tactic wherein you purchase equities that you anticipate to boost in value and sell short stakes that you think will decrease in value. This technique is profitable on a net basis.

The long/short equity approaches can be discerned in many aspects, and some of them include:

  1. Market geography: emerging markets, forward-thinking economies, etc.
  2. Sector: technology, energy, and more
  3. Investment viewpoint: growth or value

Samples approaches:

  1. Global equity growth fund — a long/short equity approach with a broad mandate
  2. Emerging healthcare fund — a long/short equity approach with a narrow directive

Sample scenario:

The investor engages with two companies — Company A and Company B. If the stakeholder determines that the Company B outperforms Company A, then he takes long equity for Company B and short equity for Company A.

2.Market-Neutral Hedge Funds

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The market-neutral approach is a kind of investment tactic wherein an investor finds a return of investment (ROI) from both growing and declining values in one or more markets. At the same time, the stakeholder does ways to sidestep some specific form of market threat. The market-neutral hedge funds aim zero net-market exposure — the shorts and longs have the same market value.

Even though this technique has lower expected gains, it’s less risky compared with a long-biased approach. By matching long and short positions in various stocks, an increase in return is expected from making good stock selections; consequently, decreasing the yield from broad market engagements.

3. Convertible Arbitrage

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Convertible arbitrage grows well on volatility. The more the stakes bounce around, the more prospects arise to alter the delta-neutral hedge and book trading gains. Convertibles are hybrid assurances that associate a direct bond with an equity possibility. By the way, the “delta neutral” is an assortment strategy comprising of positions with counterbalancing positive and negative deltas; the overall status of the delta is zero.

Here’s an example:

If a stockholder holds one call option with a delta of 0.50, this means that the choice is “at-the-money.” The investor aims to maintain a delta neutral position.

Good to know: Convertible arbitrage hedge reserve is usually short on a percentage of the stocks into which they transfigure and long on convertible bonds.

4. Event-Driven Strategy

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Changing financial-market conditions impact the operations of companies. Typically, it takes years before a corporate reorganizes. With this, investors opt to go with the event-driven strategy. Requiring patience, investors get a better hedge by purchasing the debt of companies that are in financial havoc or have already announced for bankruptcy.

5. Merger Arbitrage

 

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The arbitrage involves buying securities on one market for instant resale on another market to gain profit from a price discrepancy. The merger arbitrage is a type of event-based trading or investing. This approach is riskier compared with the market-neutral strategy. This is why it’s also typically called “risk arbitrage.” This hedge fund strategy encompasses concurrently buying and selling the stocks of two bonding companies to build “without risk” profits. It implicates taking advantage of the market inefficiencies before or after a merge or procurement.

6. Fixed-income Arbitrage

 

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To exclude credit risk, investors take hedge funds that engross in fixed-income arbitrage. It’s a strategy that takes out returns from risk-free government unions, exploiting differentials between fixed-income securities — these are debt instruments provided by private entities or public companies that guarantee a fixed stream of income. Examples of these entities include corporate bonds, municipal bonds, and the state treasuries.  

7. Capital Structure Arbitrage

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Another fixed-income arbitrage strategy is the capital structure arbitrage. It is a tactic that is no different from event-driven trades. Also known as credit hedge funds, it pays attention to credit instead of the interest rate. Managers focus on the comparative value between the junior and senior safeties of the same corporate issuer.

Good to know: A lot of managers vend short interest treasure bonds or futures to verge their rate disclosure. During vigorous economic growth periods, credit funds thrive as the credit spreads narrow. But, losses can happen when the economy decelerates as well as credit spreads wide.

8. Global Macro Funds

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Most investors evaluate how macroeconomic trends impact currencies, commodities, interest rates, and equities across the globe. Through global macro funds, you can trade almost anything, and there is flexibility across all major asset classes such as:

  1. Fixed income
  2. Equities
  3. Commodities
  4. Currencies

But, take note that global macro funds don’t always prevaricate. Some managers prefer highly liquid instruments like currency forwards and futures.

Good to know: The majority of hedge funds utilize shorts as a slice of their overall strategy. In fact, shorts play a significant role in various hedge funds.

Pros and Cons of Investing in Hedge Funds

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Investing in hedge funds involves advantages and disadvantages, such as the following:

Advantages

  1. Through various strategies, you can produce multiple returns on investment, whether it is an unfavorable or favorable market condition.
  2. A well-adjusted portfolio hedge fund can minimize overall threat and volatility.
  3. You can customize the investment approaches.
  4. Stakeholders can access the services of experienced investment managers.

Disadvantages

  1. If you chose the wrong approach, it could expose your funds to losses.
  2. You need to lock in the funds for years.
  3. The leverage or utilization of loaned money can turn a minimal loss into a more significant loss when not taken properly.

One More Thing Before You Go

Here’s the bottom line. If you’re an investor, it is crucial for you to do a thorough “due diligence” when engaging in any hedge funds. Study the different strategies tackled above to become a successful investor.

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