Craters of the Moon
  Craters of the Moon 
Taupo, North Island, New Zealand
March 2005

The first hedge fund was set up by Alfred W. Jones in 1949. Jones was the first to use short sales and leverage techniques in combination. In 1952, he converted his general partnership fund into a limited partnership investing with several independent portfolio managers and created the first multi-manager hedge fund.

In the mid 1950's other funds started using the short-selling of shares, although for the majority of these funds the hedging of market risk was not central to their investment strategy.

In 1966, an article in Fortune magazine about a "hedge fund" run by a certain A. W. Jones shocked the investment community. Apparently, the fund had outperformed all the mutual funds of its time, even after accounting for a hefty 20% incentive fee. This is because the rate of return was higher on the hedge fund versus all other mutual funds.

A hedge fund is a fund that can take both long and short positions, use arbitrage, buy and sell undervalued securities, trade options or bonds, and invest in almost any opportunity in any market where it foresees impressive gains at reduced risk. Hedge fund strategies vary enormously -- many hedge against downturns in the markets -- especially important today with volatility and anticipation of corrections in overheated stock markets. The primary aim of most hedge funds is to reduce volatility and risk while attempting to preserve capital and deliver positive returns under all market conditions.

There are approximately 14 distinct investment strategies used by hedge funds, each offering different degrees of risk and return. A macro hedge fund, for example, invests in stock and bond markets and other investment opportunities, such as currencies, in hopes of profiting on significant shifts in such things as global interest rates and countries’ economic policies. A macro hedge fund is more volatile but potentially faster growing than a distressed-securities hedge fund that buys the equity or debt of companies about to enter or exit financial distress. An equity hedge fund may be global or country specific, hedging against downturns in equity markets by shorting overvalued stocks or stock indexes. A relative value hedge fund takes advantage of price or spread inefficiencies. Knowing and understanding the characteristics of the many different hedge fund strategies is essential to capitalizing on their variety of investment opportunities.

It is important to understand the differences between the various hedge fund strategies because all hedge funds are not the same -- investment returns, volatility, and risk vary enormously among the different hedge fund strategies. Some strategies which are not correlated to equity markets are able to deliver consistent returns with extremely low risk of loss, while others may be as or more volatile than mutual funds. A successful fund of funds recognizes these differences and blends various strategies and asset classes together to create more stable long-term investment returns than any of the individual funds.

ABP Services focuses on identifying the leading hedge funds in the world and combining them into funds of hedge funds designed to deliver targeted levels of return for given levels of risk. In addition, ABP Services specializes in creating private-label funds of hedge funds for third parties such as wealthy families and individuals. ABP Services expertise in hedge funds is enhanced by a close association with leading research firms, successful hedge fund managers, and brokerage houses whose macro research gives its research team an edge in understanding world market trends, enabling them to make better hedge-fund allocation decisions.