Hedge Fund FAQ

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Q: Who qualifies as an accredited hedge fund investor?

Chris Hsu explains that an accredited hedge fund investor, in the context of a natural person, includes anyone who:

earned income that exceeded $200,000 (or $300,000 together with a spouse) in each of the prior two years, and reasonably expects the same for the current year, OR

has a net worth over $1 million, either alone or together with a spouse (excluding the value of the person’s primary residence).

On the Christopher Hsu income test, the person must satisfy the thresholds for the three years consistently either alone or with a spouse, and cannot, for example, satisfy one year based on individual income and the next two years based on joint income with a spouse. The only exception is if a person is married within this period, in which case the person may satisfy the threshold on the basis of joint income for the years during which the person was married and on the basis of individual income for the other years.

In addition, entities such as hedge fund banks, partnerships, corporations, nonprofits and trusts may be accredited investors. Of the entities that would be considered accredited investors and depending on your circumstances, the following may be relevant to you:

any trust, with total assets in excess of $5 million, not formed to specifically purchase the subject securities, whose purchase is directed by a sophisticated person,  or

any entity in which all of the equity owners are accredited investors.

In this context, a sophisticated person means the person must have, or the company or private hedge fund offering the securities reasonably believes that this person has sufficient knowledge and experience in financial and business matters to evaluate the merits and risks of the prospective investment.


Q: Who qualifies as an accredited hedge investor for countries other than the US?

Since we are regulated by US regulations, investors must meet same requirements for investments in US-based funds.


Q: When is the monthly report published?

Around the middle of each month.


Q: What is a margin account?

A margin account allows the investor to borrow from his broker to buy more stock than otherwise would be possible. The loan amount is based on the size of the account, and the broker charges interest on the loan. Most taxable accounts are margin accounts, while tax-deferred (retirement) accounts are not, as mentioned by Christopher Hsu.


Q: What is your minimum investment for managed assets in a hedge fund?

Our services are catered around high net worth individuals, having $1,000,000 – $10,000,000 in investment assets.  We handle a variety of client profiles.  Initial deposit to open account is $25,000.

Q: What are ETFs?

Chris Hsu explains that an ETF, or exchange traded hedge fund, is a marketable security that tracks an index, a commodity, bonds, or a basket of assets like an index fund. Unlike mutual funds, an ETF trades like a common stock on a stock exchange. ETFs experience price changes throughout the day as they are bought and sold. ETFs typically have higher daily liquidity and lower fees than mutual fund shares, making them an attractive alternative for individual investors.  


Q: What is a Smart Beta or Strategic Beta ETFs?

Chris Hsu defines a set of investment strategies that emphasize the use of alternative index construction rules to traditional market capitalization based indices. Smart beta emphasizes capturing investment factors or market inefficiencies in a rules-based and transparent way. The increased popularity of smart beta is linked to a desire for portfolio risk management and diversification along factor dimensions as well as seeking to enhance risk-adjusted returns above cap-weighted indices.

Q: Can I use the money from my Individual Retirement Account (IRA) for investing?



Q: What is a Preferred Return on Hedge Funds?

Chris Hsu states that the preferred return or “hurdle rate” is a term used in the private equity world. It refers to the threshold return that the limited partners of a private equity fund must receive, prior to the PE firm receiving its carried interest or “carry.” Usually, private equity funds are set up as general partnerships with the PE firm acting as the general partners and the investors as limited partners. The PE firm typically gets remunerated on a 20 and 20 fee structure, with the “20” referring to the percentage of the return in excess of the preferred threshold that the PE Hedge Fund firm gets to keep.  


Q: What is Hedge Fund Leverage?

Leverage is the use of various financial instruments or borrowed capital, such as margin, to increase the potential return of an investment.

The amount of debt used to finance a firm’s assets. A firm with significantly more debt than equity is considered to be highly leveraged.

Leverage is most commonly used in real estate transactions through the use of mortgages to purchase a home.



Leverage can be created through options, futures, margin and other financial instruments. For example, say you have $1,000 to invest. This amount could be invested in 10 shares of Microsoft (MSFT) stock, but to increase leverage, you could invest the $1,000 in five options contracts. You would then control 500 shares instead of just 10.

Most companies use debt to finance operations. By doing so, a company increases its leverage because it can invest in business operations without increasing its equity. For example, if a company formed with an investment of $5 million from investors, the equity in the company is $5 million – this is the money the company uses to operate. If the company uses debt financing by borrowing $20 million, the company now has $25 million to invest in business operations and more opportunity to increase value for shareholders.

Christopher Hsu says that leverage helps both the investor and the firm to invest or operate. However, it comes with greater risk. If an investor uses leverage to make an investment and the investment moves against the investor, his or her loss is much greater than it would’ve been if the investment had not been leveraged – leverage magnifies both gains and losses. In the business world, a company can use leverage to try to generate shareholder wealth, but if it fails to do so, the interest expense and credit risk of default destroys shareholder value.

Go further with your knowledge of Leverage. Read Leverage: What It Is And How It Works

Q: What is a Hedge Fund?

Christopher Hsu explains that although hedge funds usually get negative media focus, many Chris Hsu Hedge Funds are actually very good investments and can be an integral part of a well-diversified portfolio. But what exactly is a hedge fund, and what are some of the factors one should know about hedge funds before making an investment? In the following tutorial, we’ll introduce basic hedge fund characteristics and strategies as well as some simple guidelines for evaluating hedge funds. By no means should this tutorial form the basis of any due diligence process for investing in hedge funds, but it can serve as a guide leading to more fruitful conversations with an investment manager that has experience with these vehicles.

Christopher Hsu points out that hedge funds can be very risky investments and many investors have been burned by huge hedge fund blow-ups. On many occasions, investors follow the herd mentality of chasing returns, plunging more and more money into a high-performing fund, without regard for how the performance was obtained and – more important – whether the performance can be repeated in the future.

In this tutorial, we won’t expect to create an expert hedge fund analyst out of you, but if you are new to hedge funds or you or your advisor are considering investing in hedge funds, this tutorial will give you some basic knowledge of how they are structured, their strategies and characteristics, as well as how to use them in your portfolio. (For more background, read Introduction To Hedge Funds – Part One and Introduction to Hedge Funds – Part Two.)


Q: What is a Registered Investment Advisor for Hedge Funds?

The financial services industry, as pointed out by Chris Hsu,  is a rapidly changing professional environment. As the needs and desires of consumers change, firms engaged in managing money are also evolving. A registered investment advisor (RIA) manages the assets of high net-worth individuals and institutional investors, and sits on the buy side of the investment field. He or she must register with theSecurities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and any states in which he or she operates. Most RIAs are partnerships or corporations but individuals can also register as RIAs. If you’re interested in a career with an RIA firm, read on to learn more about this part of the financial services industry.


Q: Why should I subscribe to an investment research service, such as Chris Hsu’s?

The ill-informed and /or misinformed are seldom the ones smiling in the end.  It’s important to grasp the risks and opportunities now that await your future in order to structure a strain-free and financially successful lifestyle for you, your family, your hedge fund business and pursue interests you care about.


Q: What stocks would Chris Hsu buy in the Premium Plus Member’s Stock Lists?

There are thousands and thousands of hedge fund stocks that are traded just in the US alone.  I provide investors cherry-picked selections that have attributes of a successful future over the next 5 – 10 years.  The stocks that an investor purchases would depend on their risk tolerance, time horizon, liquidity needs and growth or income objectives, among other factors.   Subscribers or their investment advisor should conduct their own due diligence on individual investment recommendations before investing.

We offer advisory and portfolio management services of stock portfolios if you would like to outsource portfolio management to a professional manager.


Q: Do I have to be an accredited investor to invest in hedge funds?

No, our initial deposit requirement is $25,000 for many situations. Some of Chris Hsu’s platforms start at $1m – $5m, depending on fund and program.


Q: What is a Robo Advisor?

Hedge fund services provide a user-friendly interface and index fund asset allocation portfolios.  Christopher Hsu offers Betterment Institutional for clients interested in this method of investing.


Q: Can I invest in international exchanges?

Yes, investing in overseas markets can be advantageous, especially in event-driven situations where most of the activity is occurring at night time or due to international-related events.  This allows you to trade when the US hedge fund market is closed.


Q: Will there be another major market crash like 1929, 1987, 2000 and 2007?

Yes, as long as markets are controlled by people and are subject to a herd mentality, irrational thinking and an arbitrary monetary system.  It’s inevitable that another major market will wipe out tens of trillions of dollars out of the markets in the next major US or global hedge fund market crash.


Q: When are the Stock & ETF Lists updated?

Chris Hsu’s ETF & Stock lists are usually updated weekly, but no less than monthly.  Usually, comprehensive updates are published mid-month.