Learn about hedge funds with iMinds Money's insightful fast knowledge series. A hedge fund is a type of investment structure for managing a private, unregistered investment pool. Within this investment portfolio the fund manager is permitted to use a number of higher risk investment strategies. Although a wide range of strategies are used the most common is long/short equity. This was the strategy used by the first hedge fund in the United States in 1949 and is still the most popular today.
The strategy simply involves a hedge-fund manager buying shares they think will rise in price and short-selling shares they believe will fall. This strategy allows for large profits, but also very large losses. Hedge funds may also take advantage of another high-risk strategy by using borrowed money to produce a greater return. However, despite the riskier strategies employed, hedge funds had become extremely popular and common, especially in the United States, prior to the financial crisis of 2007 - 2008. This is due to their ability to potentially provide great profits. In a good year, hedge funds can return profits of over 20%. Many hedge funds also limit the number of investors, meaning each participant gets a larger share of the profits. However, unlike most other funds, a hedge fund pays a percentage of the profits to the fund manager.
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