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Hedge funds for the average investor

Bankrate.com  – Alternative assets are a good diversification tool because they’re generally not correlated to the stock market. This means when the market goes down, alternative assets may go up or stay the same and vice versa.

Large investors such as pension and endowment funds have been attracted to hedge funds because of their reputation for producing high returns. But it’s difficult to tell how successful hedge funds are because the historical data leaves much to be desired.

“They are self-reported. Indexes of hedge fund performance are biased by the fact that those that do poorly go out of business and those that do well stay in business,” says Walt Woerheide, Ph.D., CFP, vice president of academic affairs and professor of investments at The American College in Bryn Mawr, Penn. “And so when you look at the index over time, it’s really an index of those that have done well.”

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