CAIA Level I: An Introduction to Core Topics in Alternative Investments / Edition 1

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Success in today's complex world of alternative investments (AI) demands a strong foundation of knowledge and an unwavering dedication to professionalism. But up until a few years ago, no structured program existed to address these needs.

Sponsored by the CAIA Association®, the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) designation is the only educational standard uniquely designed for individuals specializing in alternative investments. Covering hedge funds, real estate, private equity, commodities and managed futures, and credit derivatives, the CAIA charter demonstrates one's commitment to professionalism and command of AI's unique fundamentals—setting you and your firm apart from the competition.

The CAIA program is comprised of a two-tier exam process (Level I and Level II) through which you may earn the CAIA charter. The Level I exam challenges your understanding of the alternative investment market's tools and terms, and tests your knowledge of various trading strategies and their performance characteristics.

CAIA Level I: An Introduction to Core Topics in Alternative Investments contains virtually all the material on alternative investments a potential Level I candidate would need to know as they prepare for the exam. The information found here will help you build a solid foundation in alternative investment markets—for example, the characteristics of the many types of strategies within each alternative asset class, and how statistics are used to measure investment performance on a stand-alone basis as well as in a portfolio context.

A required reading for one of today's most demanding exams, this comprehensive resource:

  • Uses investment analytics to examine each alternative asset class
  • Focuses on quantitative techniques used by investment professionals
  • Addresses the unique attributes associated with the alternative investment space
  • Offers a study guide outlining learning objectives and keywords, available at

Since its inception in 2002, the CAIA program's diverse curriculum has benefited a wide array of individuals—from institutional investors, investment advisors, AI fund managers, and administrators to accountants, lawyers, and academics. So if you're ready to take your first step toward the CAIA charter, take the time to understand the insights offered here.

Don't forget to pick up CAIA Level II: Advanced Core Topics in Alternative Investments to prepare for the second, and final, exam needed to achieve the CAIA charter.

THE CAIA ASSOCIATION is an independent, not-for-profit, global organization committed to education and professionalism in the field of alternative investments. It offers two exams (Level I and Level II) to professional analysts in this growing field so that, upon successful completion, the individuals hold the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) designation. This certification has a great deal of prestige in the global community with members from over sixty countries.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470447024
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 10/19/2009
  • Series: Wiley Finance Series, #513
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 672
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 2.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark J.P. Anson is the President and Executive Director of Investment Services at Nuveen Investments. Previously, he was the chief executive officer of Hermes Pensions Management Ltd. Before joining Hermes, Anson was the chief investment officer of the $245 billion California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS)—the largest pension fund in the United States. Anson is the author or coauthor of four financial books, including the Handbook of Alternative Assets (Wiley). He has published over eighty research articles on topics ranging from alpha and beta separation to corporate governance.

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Table of Contents



About the Authors.


1: What Is an Alternative Asset Class?

2: Why Alternative Assets are Important.

3: The Beta Continuum.

4: Alpha versus Beta.

5: The Calculus of Active Management.


6: Real Estate Investment Trusts.

7: Introduction to NCREIF and the NCREIF Indexes.

8: Real Estate as an Investment.

9: Core, Value Added and Opportunistic Real Estate.


10: Introduction to Hedge Funds.

11: Establishing a Hedge Fund Investment Program.

12: Due Diligence for Hedge Fund Managers.

13: Risk Management Part 1: Hedge Fund Return Distributions.

14: Risk Management Part II: More Hedge Fund Risks.

15: Hedge Fund Benchmarks and Asset Allocation.

16: Hedge Fund Incentive Fees and the Free Option.

17: Hedge Fund Collapses.

18: Top Ten Hedge Fund Quotes.


19: Introduction to Commodities.

20: Investing in Commodity Futures.

21: Commodity Futures in a Portfolio Context.

22: Managed Futures.


23: Introduction to Venture Capital.

24: Introduction to Leveraged Buyouts.

25: Debt as Private Equity Part I: Mezzanine Debt.

26: Debt as Private Equity Part II: Distressed Debt.

27: Trends in Private Equity.

28: The Economics of Private Equity.


29: Introduction to Credit Derivatives.

30: Collateralized Debt Obligations.

31: Risks and New Developments in CDOs.

Appendix A: Basic Principles of Return and Present Value.

Appendix B: Measures of Risk and Risk Management.

Appendix C: Correlation and Regression Analysis.

Appendix D: The Quantitative Analysis of 130/30 Products.


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