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By Dimitris N. Chorafas (auth.)

ISBN-10: 1349510262

ISBN-13: 9781349510269

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Extra resources for Alternative Investments and the Mismanagement of Risk

Example text

You) need explaining the advantages of alternative investments,’ the same reviewer continued. This statement touches a sensitive cord. I don’t march by orders, and I don’t make my heels click. To put it bluntly, had I found in my research factual and documented evidence about advantages connected to alternative investments, I would have been most happy to outline them in this text. The reader does not need to worry about missing an outline of such ‘advantages’ in this book. Surely, he or she gets plenty of sales literature and offers about the ‘benefits’ to be derived from alternative investments some time in the future.

Finally, an answer to the second of the above two bullets must pay due attention to the available options. Merrill Lynch has been a vendor of alternative investments for many years, promoting several funds and funds of funds. However, on 1 July 2002, this investment bank found the courage to write the following in its US Strategy Update: Cash has now outperformed the S&P 500 for the time period spanning the last 55 months (December 1997 to July 2002). 16 Add to the S&P reference made by Merrill Lynch all hedge funds and any other alternative investment vehicle, and you have a perfect quotation summarising in a nutshell the message Chapter 1 brings to the reader.

Liquidity,’ said one of the reviewers, ‘depends on the fund. ’ The answer of course is that practically all hedge funds are illiquid because of the goals which they pursue, and the strategies which they follow. When they promise their investors 20 or 30 per cent returns per year, they cannot afford to be otherwise than fully invested. In the money market, they will only get a low one-digit interest per year. Over and above full investment comes high leverage (more about this later). One can understand how pension fund managers and other institutional investors are bewildered by the barrage of calls they receive inviting them to consider individual hedge fund or fund of funds.

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