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Hedge Fund Research

Hedge Funds

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Curriculum Content

You need to be well informed before investing, which makes hedge fund research essential. Your entire investment is essentially given to general partners to control. It’s vital that you comprehend exactly how fund managers will earn return in relation to the risks they incur. The basis of general partner’s investment selection is vital to fund returns. All of these factors will be contrasted against your needs, and used to determine if investments within the fund are wise.

Hedge Fund research divides into stages. The first stage consists of acquiring documents describing the fund’s fees, costs, strategy, and policies. The majority of this information will come from a document created by the fund, called the prospectus. The prospectus may also give you the educational history of managers and their work experience. All of this information is required.

Hedge Fund Research: Verify Money Managers

If you’re about to hand someone millions, you should verify all of their history is true outside the contact and background information they give you. First, check their financial certifications and credentials. Investment professionals are usually registered with financial regulators, even if their hedge funds are not. Use official webpages to research their history if General Partners say they are registered with the following: Securities and Exchange Commission, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, and Commodity Futures Trading Commission. They should be registered with multiple. Someone who is not, could be anyone. All of these regulatory bodies have an online record of accredited members, many other organizations feature databases as well. The same is true for financial certifications: Many other certification programs maintain catalogue listings. Chartered financial analysts are listed online in a CFA Institute database. These databases often list previous complaints against member behavior and disciplinary punishments.

Next, you will need to review their resumes and histories. General partners will say they were once associated with funds, previous employers, charity organizations, and universities. Contact all of them. Use these organizations’ public contact information to request referrals to business associates named on general partner resumes. Do not rely on the contact information given by the fund’s managers. In every case you should use public information to ensure you’re contacting the correct organizations. Using public information to contact associates avoids fraudulent activity. Ask these contacts if the general partners are indeed connected in the way they stated. If they their dissolved their business relationship, ask the contacted party why this occurred. In many cases negative information will not be given, but occasionally people will inform you. In either case, ensure general partners acted responsibly in the past. Specifically ask organizations the following based on their type:

  • Universities: Dates Attended, Degrees & Honors Earned. Ensure every verifiable statement on their educational history is correct. Request a transcript if possible.
  • Previous Employers: Years worked, Roles performed, Overall Performance, Reasons for leaving.
  • Previous Employees: Working dates, Relation to General Partner, Quality of general partner’s work and management abilities, Level of professionalism, Reasons for leaving.
  • Current & Previous Clients/Investors: Years worked, Roles performed, Overall Performance, Openness with clientele, Concerns/Issues, Trust level, Approval level, Level of professionalism, Reasons for leaving.
  • Associated firms: Roles fulfilled, Length of working relationship, Reasons for leaving if no longer interacting as business partners.

Ensure that the person you’ve hired is legitimate and skilled at their job. You’re giving this person potentially millions of dollars to manage. Any online reviews of fund managers or historical performance can help you make decisions. You also need to ensure that the person you’re working with is strategically or personally appropriate to meet your needs. This will require an interview with the hedge fund’s manager himself.

Hedge Fund Research: Constantly Research

Consider all hedge fund research an ongoing project. You will need to keep track of fund performance resulting from general partner oversight. Funds notify investors with performance reports at differing points in the year. Ensure the fund will deliver reports often enough for you to stay adequately informed. You should attempt to write your preferred notification rate into contracts negotiated with fund managers. You need an update from the fund at least once a quarter, plus one time annually. Reports should feature investment performance (preferably with notes on risk adjusted performance), costs incurred, and risk exposures related to specific assets owned and investment positions taken.

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