I have an article at Bloomberg View, about how there's not really much that's special about hedge funds:
The recent release of Institutional Investor Alpha’s hedge-fund survey has everyone asking how the fund managers continue to make so much money. Academics and journalists alike point out that hedge funds, as a class, haven’t delivered above-market after-fee returns for quite some time. Hedge funds, of course, get paid whether the market goes up or down, so the real question is why hedge funds continue to receive large inflows of capital from pension funds and other investors. The New Yorker magazine’s John Cassidy has a good roundup of the most prominent theories. He includes some good links to research on the question of whether hedge funds deliver superior risk-adjusted returns, or offer significant diversification potential.
But the real question is: Why would people expect hedge funds to deliver superior returns in the first place?Read the whole thing here!