Alfred W. Jones opened the doors of the world’s first hedge fund firm almost 70 years ago. He could not have known it at the time, but his innovations would sow the seeds of a new industry that would change the face of investing.
The story of the hedge fund industry since then has been one of continued growth and innovation. Today’s hedge fund firms trade in everything from vintage wines to risk factors, using cutting-edge mathematics to manage risks and even to execute trades—the stuff of science fiction in Jones’s days.
At the same time, the industry’s investors have changed. The benefits of hedge funds are no longer restricted to the few. Pensions, university endowments, and sovereign wealth funds now number amongst the industry’s largest investors. The industry is also increasingly open to retail investors, meaning that everyday investors are able to access the same financial innovation and rigorous risk management that was once only available to the wealthiest investors.
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