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Investment Banks, Hedge Funds, and Private Equity, 2nd Edition by David Stowell

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11

Overview of Hedge Funds

In the United States, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has stated that the term hedge fund “has no precise legal or universally accepted definition.”1 But most market participants agree that hedge funds have the following characteristics: (1) almost complete flexibility in relation to investments, including both long and short positions; (2) ability to borrow money (and further increase leverage through derivatives) in an effort to enhance returns; (3) minimal regulation; (4) somewhat illiquid since an investor’s ability to get their money back is restricted through lock-up agreements (that may prevent any liquidity during the first one or two years of a hedge fund’s life) and quarterly disbursement limitations ...

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