Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Regulation of Hedge Funds

Sweeping Changes are Needed if the Regulation of Hedge Funds is to Cure the Ills rather than Mask the Symptoms

The regulation of hedge funds is a vital concern for investors, lawmakers and other stakeholders. The reason for the prominence stems from the growing role of wildcat pools in causing or exacerbating the blowups in the financial forum. The outfits of this breed may take the form of boutique firms calling their own tunes or wildcat groups nestled within larger institutions.

The throng of hedge funds shows a great deal of variety in their trading styles, and market niches. Even so, one common streak is the urge to make a quick profit. As a result, the operators are prone to take on a great deal of risk and often reach beyond the bounds of reason.

Not surprisingly, hedge funds of all stripes go bust in droves whether the economy is surging or slumping. In spite of the breakdowns, however, the true performance of the punters is hidden by the usual statistics of the domain.

Even so, rigorous studies of the field have shown that the investors as a group get a raw deal. To make matters worse, hedge funds in the aggregate pose a serious threat to the economic security of the nation and even the global system of finance and trade. The general public has come to glimpse the enormity of the problem even if the majority happens to be unfamiliar with the details of the hedge fund game.

Until the financial crisis of 2008, the policy of governments around the globe was to stand aloof from the ruckus to the greatest extent possible. To be precise, the standard operating procedure was to wait until a bombshell explodes, then scamper around in order to contain the damage.

Put another way, the policy was to play chicken with the biggest threat in the financial forum. As a result, the upshot has been the recurrent loss of trillions of dollars in assets with each crash in the marketplace.

On a positive note, the financial system as well as the real economy have thus far managed to recover from each debacle within a matter of months or years. In other words, the blowouts battered but did not destroy the global system of finance and trade. Under the current scheme, though, it’s only a matter of time before the whole shebang comes tumbling down.

Given this backdrop, the way forward is clear enough. The only real question is whether there is enough gumption among elected officials to step up to the task and deal with the menace head-on. This article talks about the stumpers at hand and presents a number of wholesome solutions for fixing the problems.

More on Regulation of Hedge Funds.

*       *       *

Sunday, December 27, 2009

How to Outpace Most Mutual Funds and Hedge Funds while Earning a Fee

In spite of all their efforts, the majority of players in the stock market – be they mutual funds, hedge funds, or individual investors – are unable to keep up with the market averages. There are generic as well as distinct reasons among the participants for lagging the marketplace.

On the upside, though, there’s a simple way to outshine the mass of punters in the stock market. In fact, the objective is not that formidable or even taxing.

A raft of studies over the decades has shown that mutual funds as a group trail behind the stock market at large. Although the exact numbers vary somewhat from one probe to another, a representative result is that the annual return from mutual funds is on average half percent lower than the benchmarks of the bourse.

One reason for the shortfall is that mutual funds have a habit of charging a maintenance fee based on the total value of the assets under management. In the past, the fee has ranged anywhere up to a couple of percent – or even higher – of the average value of the portfolio over the course of the year.

In a raft of ways, the performance of hedge funds is even worse than that of mutual funds. According to impartial studies, the top tier of hedge funds ekes out a gross profit that is comparable to the average performance of mutual funds.

Even so, the net return to the investors is a lot less for a several reasons. One factor lies in the performance fee, which usually ranges from 20 to 50 percent of the gains whenever the portfolio happens to turn in a profit. Moreover, the investors have to pay a fixed fee – usually a couple of percent of the average value of the portfolio over the course of the years – for administrative expenses regardless of performance.

In spite of the pitfalls, a lot of investors squander their money on investment funds that levy a fixed fee of a couple of percent each year for holding onto their assets. The customers could easily secure better results through cost-effective pools that charge a pittance for their services.

Another curio is that the average investor earns even less than the average mutual fund. The crux of the problem springs from the habit of giving in to alternating bouts of mania and panic.

If you were to keep up with the stock market at large, then you’d be trouncing the average fund managed by the professional managers. It goes without saying that you’ll also trump the mass of individual investors by a comfortable margin.

In fact, you could also pay yourself a management fee of nearly half a percent a year on the total value of your portfolio. In that case, you would of course trail behind the indexes of the stock market by a similar amount. Even so, you could still beat the bulk of your rivals whether in the form of mutual funds, hedge funds, or lone investors.

This article will show you how to achieve this fabulous feat.

More on How to Outpace Most Mutual Funds and Hedge Funds while Earning a Fee.

*       *       *

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Thrust of Business Intelligence: A Primer

During its formative years, the field of business intelligence was the preserve of a small band of practitioners who monitored a variety of trends in the marketplace. Given the shortage of digital tools at the time, however, the domain was simply a trifling sideshow within the larger realm of marketing strategy.

Due to the upsurge of digital platforms during the 1990s and beyond, however, the external bent was turned on its head. One factor lay in the proliferation of low-cost hardware across the enterprise. Another driver was the upgrowth of applications powered by open source software. The platforms in the latter category ranged from Internet media and database packages to operating systems and analytic tools. By contrast to its original ambit, the field of business intelligence came to focus on the management of information for internal functions rather than external events.

More on Thrust of Business Intelligence: A Primer.

*       *       *

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

How to Select a Business Web Hosting Service

If you’re planning to join the booming ranks of online entrepreneurs, then a basic task is to select a business Web hosting service. Nowadays, a presence on the information highway is de rigueur for any venture, whether the business is based in the realm of bits or bricks.

The groundswell of online commerce in the millennium has spawned a veritable army of vendors catering to all sorts of needs. The merchants of this breed include the providers of hosting platforms and the registrars of domain names.

On the upside, you’re spoilt for choice in the plenitude of service providers. On the downside, though, you’re confronted by the patchy caliber of the vendors and products in the forum.

In the din and dust of the digital frontier, you face a raft of obstacles in picking out the best Web hosting service. As a result, finding a trusty vendor with a decent product at an affordable price can be a challenge.

To begin with, the price of a product often has little or no bearing on the functionality or quality of the offering. In fact, you can pay a lot more and end up with a lot less.

To add to the muddle, the breakneck advance of technology creates a ceaseless stream of upheavals in hardware as well as software. Given the ferment in the marketplace, the best Web hosting service is unlikely to retain the top spot over a long stretch. That’s the case even if your profile of requirements happens to remain unchanged.

To add to the turmoil, the march of technical progress is accompanied by the evolution of applications over time. As an example, plain text used to be the dominant form of communication during the early days of the Internet.

Nowadays, though, rich content takes up a growing share of the resources in cyberspace. The bulky materials of this sort span the gamut from photos and cartoons to music and video. As the mix of applications changes over time, so does the profile of requirements for a compelling Web site.

For this reason, the best choice of platform is a moving target rather than a standing fixture. In a roily market, even a veteran Nethead has to review the field from time to time in order to pick out the best platform for their evolving needs.

Due to the wholesale turnover of products in the marketplace, a systematic survey has to cover a great deal of ground. In order to do a thorough job, you could easily spend hundreds of hours over the course of several weeks.

On the other hand, there’s no need for you to repeat the procedure from scratch. Rather, you can trim the amount of time and effort required by making use of prior appraisals of the field.

In seeking out the best choice of platform for a business Web hosting service, a suitable criterion for the final decision lies in value for money. In this light, an orderly procedure for picking out an apt platform is as follows.

More on How to Select a Business Web Hosting Service.

*       *       *

Sunday, December 20, 2009

How to Size up Hedge Funds: 4 Common Pitfalls to Avoid

In an attempt to spice up their investment strategy, a lot of people make serious mistakes in sizing up the returns to be had from hedge funds. In fact, the customers as a group end up getting a lot less than they had bargained for.

The dangers of the domain are spotlighted by the fact that hedge funds have a way of going bust in droves. During their short lifespans, the performance of the survivors is nothing to write home about, either. According to rigorous studies of the domain, hedge funds on average turn in gross profits that are only comparable to those of mutual funds. On the other hand, the net returns to the customers of hedge funds trail far behind those of mutual funds.

There are several reasons for the discrepancy between the image and the reality in the marketplace. In this article, we examine the four types of pitfalls that lead investors astray.

More on How to Size up Hedge Funds: 4 Common Pitfalls to Avoid.

*       *       *

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Knowledge Management in Practice

The Billing Belies the Reality of Knowledge Management as the Groundwork for Business Intelligence and Kindred Functions

The field of knowledge management deals with schemes to manipulate raw data and processed information. The domain is related to a number of other niches such as business intelligence and competitive intelligence. On a negative note, the distinction between one area and the others is obscured by the overlapping claims of the practitioners in their respective fields. Even so, an examination of the tools used and the functions performed by the workers highlights the differences between knowledge management and the adjoining domains.

More on Knowledge Management in Practice.

*       *       *

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Earn More by Doing Worse: Or, Who’s the Golden Goose of Hedge Funds?

In the popular imagination, hedge funds are exclusive outfits that deliver scads of profit at minimal risk. Sadly, though, the investors as a group have found that the outcome is precisely the opposite of what they had fancied.

In terms of net returns to the customers, even the top tier of hedge funds lag comfortably behind mutual funds; and the latter pools are widely known to underperform the benchmarks of the stock market. To make matters worse, though, hedge funds go out of business in droves whether the market at large happens to be rising or falling.

The custodians of hedge funds take a big chunk of the earnings, usually ranging from 20 to 50 percent of the spoils, during any period in which the portfolio happens to turn in a profit. For this reason, the general public believes that the goals of the stewards are aligned with those of the patrons.

But this outcome is only half of the arrangement. Unfortunately, the bulk of investors pay little or no mind to the flip side of the picture. And the downside is the scary part. When a bet goes sour, the investors take the fall while the plungers that caused the blowup get off without a scratch.

Due to the twisted pattern of payouts, the incentives of the operators are at odds with the objectives of the investors. Moreover, the crummy performance of hedge funds on average indicates that the operators as a group do in fact place their own interests ahead of their patrons’.

The purpose of this article is to lay bare the absurd pattern of payoffs which pits the earnings of the operators against those of the investors. Due to the mismatch, the stewards of wildcat pools take batty risks that bolster their own welfare at the expense of the clients.

More on Earn More by Doing Worse: Or, Who’s the Golden Goose of Hedge Funds?.
*       *       *

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Quest for the Best Web Hosting Service

In order to set up a homestead in cyberspace, a crucial step is to pick out the best Web hosting service for the undertaking. The top choice of platform depends on the nature of the site that the user has in mind. As an example, a lone individual may want to set up a hub in order to share a bunch of photos and essays with a small circle of friends. By contrast, a corporate organ could plan on selling thousands of products to a global audience with the help of an online catalog.

In sizing up a platform for Web hosting, the crucial factors may be classified broadly into objective and subjective features. An example of a factual trait is the price of the hosting service, or the availability of a shopping cart. Meanwhile, an example of a subjective facet involves the user-friendliness of the software tools, or the quality of customer service in dealing with glitches. This article presents a systematic approach to matching a hosting platform to the target application.

More on Quest for the Best Web Hosting Service.

*       *       *

Friday, December 11, 2009

How to Invest in Agriculture: Choosing the Best Investment Funds

A simple way to catch the boom in agriculture is to make use of investment funds. In particular, an exchange traded fund (ETF) is a convenient and cost-effective vehicle for investors.

There are several different kinds of exchange traded funds. Whichever type is chosen, the pools can serve as tools for participating in the groundswell of agriculture.

As with any sector of the economy, the agricultural niche will not expand in a smooth or steady fashion. Rather, the market will advance in fits and starts over the years and decades to come.

On the downside, the majority of participants in the market will rush into the arena toward the tail end late of each upswell. In fact, hordes of wild-eyed punters will leap into the field just as the ferment turns into a frenzy followed by an outright bubble.

Each time the craze comes to an end, myriads of gamesters will find that their airy profits have vanished entirely. Worse yet, many of the latecomers will end up losing the bulk of their original investments as well.

On a positive note, though, a cadre of vanguard investors has been preparing in advance to take advantage of the tsunami that is yet in its prime. The spearheads are also planning to leave the market well before the hubbub builds to a climax followed by a blowout.

The purpose of this article is to set the stage for an orderly foray into the field. In addition to a cogent set of guidelines, a selection of references serves as a springboard to additional sources of information.

More on How to Invest in Agriculture: Choosing the Best Investment Funds.

*       *       *

Thursday, December 10, 2009

How to Grok the Markets for Business and Investment: 4 Keys to Successful Planning

The markets play a crucial role on the outcome of any project in business strategy or personal investment. For this reason, you need to take into account a raft of factors relating to current trends and future prospects in the real economy as well as the financial forum.

In shaping the path of the marketplace, a clutch of four factors has a major impact regardless of the nature of the niche or the type of project. The driving forces impinge on, and respond to, the domestic market as well as the global economy at large.

To map out a trusty trail through the shifty landscape, a good starting point is to analyze each of the four factors in turn. The next task is to consider the ways in which the driving forces interact with each other and lead to convoluted results.

Among the cast of characters, a couple of principals lie squarely in the financial domain. One of the factors lies in the interest rate set by the central bank. The second element concerns the strength of the currency in the international marketplace.

By contrast, the remaining pair of factors deals with the real economy to a greater or lesser degree. In particular, the level of economic output lies squarely in this camp.

Meanwhile, the inflation rate lies partly in the financial arena due to its dependence on the supply of money pumped out by the central bank. On the other hand, the resulting rate of inflation depends on the price of the products bought and sold in the tangible realm of goods and services.

The money supply is of course a crucial force behind the price level. On the other hand, a mountain of money by itself may have scant impact on the inflation rate if the economy is sluggish or even shrinking.

In the sections to follow, we examine each of the four driving forces in the marketplace. The character of each factor is presented, along with the intricate ways in which they interact.

More on How to Grok the Markets for Business and Investment: 4 Keys to Successful Planning
*       *       *

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Guide to Web Site Hosting Reviews

3 Rules for Gauging Web Site Hosting Reviews

Amid the groundswell of online commerce, a growing cohort of entrepreneurs is turning to Web site hosting reviews as the first step toward setting up a beachhead in cyberspace. On a positive note, a plethora of hosting platforms and product reviews have sprung up to meet the tsunami of demand for building virtual properties on the Web.

On the downside, though, the Net is chockablock with defective and even deceptive commentary of all sorts. The good news is that there are occasional nuggets of sound advice sprinkled amongst the ocean of dross. To identify the gems, the reader has to evaluate the soundness of the blurbs that purport to be guideposts for the newcomer.

Given the headlong advances in hardware as well as software, the products in the marketplace are in a constant state of flux. The same is true of the needs of the user, who is obliged to keep up with an endless stream of upheavals in online functions, fashions and applications.

For these reasons, the owner of a Web site ought to revisit the task of matching a platform to the application at least once every year or two. This article is designed to serve as a handy reference for gauging the merits of Web site hosting reviews.

More on Guide to Web Site Hosting Reviews.

*       *       *

Friday, December 4, 2009

How to Catch the Boom in Gold: A Guide for Investment Planning

The gold market is playing a growing role as a cornerstone of investment planning for individuals as well as organizations. On the upside, the outlook for the yellow metal is dazzling over the long run.

Even so, it seems safe to say that not everyone will benefit to the same degree from the large-scale trends in the global marketplace. On the contrary, the majority of investors will show up late for the party, as they usually do in the financial arena.

Myriads of punters will rush into the field as the gold market sizzles and swells into a bubble. The frenzy will then be duly followed by a blowout that sweeps away the frothy gains racked up during the upsurge.

In addition to wiping out the profits of the latecomers, the bombshell will obliterate the bulk of the funds thrown into the bonfire of speculation. That is the way of all crazes and their busts.

On a positive note, though, a cohort of vanguard investors has been planning in advance to harness the groundswell that is still in its prime. The savvy players at the forefront are also aware of the need to exit the fiesta of gold well before the frenzy builds up to a climax followed by the usual smackdown.

If you plan to weave your way deftly through the din and smoke of the bazaar, then you have to approach the domain in an orderly fashion. In particular, you need to identify the jumbo trends, pinpoint the most promising vehicles, and drum up an investment strategy based on your personal profile of objectives, resources and tastes.

To this end, the primer at hand presents a coherent approach to venturing into the gold market. In addition to a compact set of guidelines, a lineup of references serves as a springboard for further information on the subject.

More on How to Catch the Boom in Gold: A Guide for Investment Planning.

*       *       *

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Outlook for the Commodity Market

Top Guidelines and Videos for Investment Planning in the Commodity Market

Since the dawn of the millennium, the groundswell of demand for natural resources has turned the commodity market into a cornerstone of investment planning. Moreover, the newfound role is destined to continue to a greater or lesser degree until the middle of the 21st century.

On one hand, the market for natural resources will wax and wane in tune with the long wave of the commodity cycle. On the other hand, the undulation will be superimposed upon a secular trend the likes of which has never been seen before. The ascent of the commodity market over the course of half a century springs in part from the widespread program of industrialization in the emerging nations of the world. A second engine of growth lies in the upgrowth of prosperity around the world, along with the influx of newfound consumers by the billions into the global economy.

This article presents a muster of guidelines for the future of the commodity market, together with a selection of videos showcasing the top minds in the field. Another hallmark is a clutch of tips on investing in natural resources as well as a batch of pointers to additional resources.

More on Outlook for the Commodity Market.

*       *       *