The Hedge Fund Mirage: The Illusion of Big Money and Why It's Too Good to Be True

Overview

Sure, hedge funds have produced some of the greatest fortunes inrecent years, but the shocking reality is that investors would havemade more putting their money into treasury bills instead. Andwhile hedge funds have proved to be serious moneymakers for thosethat manage them, investors themselves rarely reap the benefits. InThe Hedge Fund Mirage: The Illusion of Big Money and Why It'sToo Good to Be True, hedge fund expert Simon Lack blows the lidoff the secret world of this class of investments, teaching ...

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The Hedge Fund Mirage: The Illusion of Big Money and Why It's Too Good to Be True

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Overview

Sure, hedge funds have produced some of the greatest fortunes inrecent years, but the shocking reality is that investors would havemade more putting their money into treasury bills instead. Andwhile hedge funds have proved to be serious moneymakers for thosethat manage them, investors themselves rarely reap the benefits. InThe Hedge Fund Mirage: The Illusion of Big Money and Why It'sToo Good to Be True, hedge fund expert Simon Lack blows the lidoff the secret world of this class of investments, teaching youeverything you need to know to maximize your own returns.

Drawing on an insider's view of hedge fund growth during the1990s, a time when investors in the field did well in part becausethere were relatively few of them, The Hedge Fund Miragechronicles the history of the hedge fund, highlighting the manysubtle and not-so-subtle ways that returns and risks are biased infavor of the fund manager, and how investors and allocators canredress this imbalance. Packed with information about the industryand what's wrong with it, the book steers you away from the trapsthat befall so many investors. Full of helpful pointers on how toreally get the most out of your hedge fund investments, itencourages using new and emerging hedge fund managers whose returnsare generally better, negotiating more assertively for strongerinvestor rights, and warns anyone putting their money in the handsof a manager to demand complete transparency at all times.

Hedge fund investors have had it tough in recent years, but thatdoesn't mean that there isn't money to be made. As the success ofhedge fund managers shows, opportunities are there. The dilemma forinvestors is figuring out how to identify managers you can trustand learning the techniques to keep more of the money generatedusing your capital. The Hedge Fund Mirage is here to help,turning the tables on conventional industry wisdom to put you, theinvestor, back in charge.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Simon Lack, a hedge fund veteran exposes some unforeseen anduncomfortable truths about the industry in his new book." (HedgeFund Net, January 2012)

"...a cautionary tale from one who knows just about all thetricks...an easy, largely fun and certainly instructive read"(Financial World, February 2012)

"Devastating little book.... His conclusions will makeuncomfortable reading for many self-styled 'masters of theuniverse'.... This book should be required reading for pension fundtrustees." (Jonathan Ford, Financial Times, 19th February2012) 

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781118164310
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 1/3/2012
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

SIMON LACK has spent his entire career in trading and hedge fund investing. After twenty-three years with JPMorgan, he founded SL Advisors, LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor, in 2009. Much of Lack's career with JPMorgan was spent in North American fixed income derivatives and forward FX trading, a business that he ran successfully through several bank mergers, ultimately overseeing fifty professionals and $300 million in annual revenues. He sat on JPMorgan's investment committee which allocated over $1 billion to hedge fund managers and founded the JPMorgan Incubator Funds, two private equity vehicles that establish economic stakes for emerging hedge fund managers. Lack's financial markets experience dates back to 1980 when he began his career on the floor of the London Stock Exchange.

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Table of Contents

Introduction xi

Acknowledgments xv

Chapter 1 The Truth about Hedge Fund Returns 1

How to Look at Returns 2

Digging into the Numbers 3

The Investor’s View of Returns 6

How the Hedge Fund Industry Grew 10

The Only Thing That Counts Is Total Profits 13

Hedge Funds Are not Mutual Funds 14

Summary 16

Chapter 2 The Golden Age of Hedge Funds 19

Hedge Funds as Clients 20

Building a Hedge Fund Portfolio 22

The Interview Is the Investment Research 24

Long Term Capital Management 27

Too Many Bank Mergers 30

Summary 33

Chapter 3 The Seeding Business 35

How a Venture Capitalist Looks at Hedge Funds 36

From Concept to the Real Deal 38

Searching for That Rare Gem 41

Everybody Has a Story 46

Some Things Shouldn’t Be Hedged 50

The Hedge Fund as a Business 52

Summary 56

Chapter 4 Where Are the Customers’ Yachts? 59

How Much Profi t Is There Really? 60

Investors Jump In 63

Fees on Top of More Fees 65

Drilling Down by Strategy 69

How to Become Richer Than Your Clients 74

Summary 77

Chapter 5 2008—The Year Hedge Funds Broke Their Promiseto Investors 79

Financial Crisis, 1987 Version 80

How 2008 Redefi ned Risk 82

The Hedge Fund as Hotel California 85

Timing and Tragedy 93

In 2008, Down Was a Long Way 97

Summary 98

Chapter 6 The Unseen Costs of Admission 99

How Some Investors Pay for Others 101

My Mid-Market or Yours? 104

The Benefi ts of Keen Eyesight 107

Show Me My Money 111

Summary 115

Chapter 7 The Hidden Costs of Being Partners 117

Limited Partners, Limited Rights 118

Friends with no Benefi ts 120

Watching the Legal Costs 125

Summary 128

Chapter 8 Hedge Fund Fraud 129

More Crooks Than You Think 130

Madoff 133

Know Your Audience 134

Accounting Arbitrage 101 136

Checking the Background Check 138

Politically Connected and Crooked? 140

Paying Your Bills with Their Money 141

Why It’s Hard to Invest in Russia 143

After Hours Due Diligence 145

Summary 146

Chapter 9 Why Less Can Be More with Hedge Funds 149

There Are Still Winners 151

Avoid the Crowds 154

Why Size Matters 158

Where Will They Invest All This Money? 166

Summary 168

Afterword 171

Bibliography 177

About the Author 181

Index 183

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