Hedge Fund Strategies – 4 Hints You Must Follow
I have to admit this. When growing up, I was not fascinated about famous artists like Jay Z and Diddy like my peers did. I was not interested in musicians or movie star at all. I was interested in famous hedge fund managers like Carl Icahn, William Ackman, John Poulson, and Steven Cohen among others. I loved how these people made their money by buying companies and advocating for change. I loved how ‘easily’ they made their money. In fact, my most memorable day was when I had a chance to have a conversation with Ackman. A great gentleman he is. All I ever wanted to do in life was to become a hedge fund manager. In this article, I will describe five key hedge fund strategies you can do to trade your account in the same way the hedgies do. I have also spent a lot of time reading about hedge fund managers. My favorite book, which I recommend to you is Money Mavericks by Lars Kroijer.
#1 – Define your Strategy
The hedge fund industry is really broad. All successful hedge fund managers have different hedge fund strategies. For instance, William Ackman is an activist investor. This means that he buys stakes in companies and then advocates for change in the way the companies are run. Ken Griffin on the other hand is a multi-asset multi-strategy investor. This means that he trades in different assets such as bonds, commodities, and equities using different strategies such as arbitrage and quantitative techniques. James Simmons on the other hand is a quant trader. This means that he uses algorithms to make investment decisions. As a trader, you need to define the strategy you will use to make entry and exit decisions. Your strategy should also include the risk management strategies you will use. Other items to consider in this are:
- The asset class to trade.
- Analysis method to use.
- Duration of holding a position
- Markets to trade
#2 – Source of Funds
Your source of funds is another important thing you must think about when trading like a hedge fund manager. Most hedge fund managers you know trade using other people’s funds. For instance, Ackman has more than $12 billion in assets under management but Forbes values his estate to be worth about $1.2 billion. Only a few managers invest their own funds. They include George Soros and Steve Cohen. The benefit of trading your own funds is that you will have peace of mind no matter the losses you make. When trading other people’s funds, you will always fear their next actions such as withdrawals and redemptions. I prefer you trade with your own $10,000 than with a million dollars of other people’s funds.
#3 – Test your Strategy
Testing your hedge fund strategy is the best thing you should do. Backtesting will help you avoid making serious mistakes which people make on a daily basis. If this is your first time trading, you should spend about 6 months testing the strategy you will use with real funds. On the other hand, if this is not your first time trading, you need to ensure that your strategy is solid. Doing this will help you have an ease of mind when trading.
#4 – Reflect
Finally, after you start trading, you should now reflect on your trading decisions. Hedge fund managers report to their investors on a quarterly basis. As an independent hedge fund manager, you should go the extra step to report to yourself on a daily basis. This will involve having a trading journal where you will list all the trades you make. A trading journal should simply include a few items such as: the reason for entering a trade, the profit/loss made, and the reason for exit. This should be done on every trade that you make. It will help you avoid repeating the same mistake on a daily basis.
Hedge Fund Strategies – Useful Links
- Discover other hedge fund strategies on Investopedia
- Learn more about hedge fund strategies on Barclayhedge