(FINANCE) a limited liability partnership (LLP), originally limited to 99 partners, and organized to trade securities under specialized guidelines. The first hedge funds were organized to be a counterparty to the riskiest forms of derivative transactions: writing exotic options or swaps in which the buyer transferred most risks (and potential gains) to the hedge fund, but then offsetting the risk with different derivatives.
The first hedge funds benefited (or thought they benefited) from the Black-Scholes formula used to calculate the value of options; supposedly a hedge fund manager could design an immensely complex portfolio consisting mainly of explosively volatile instruments , whose pieces were supposed to absorb each other's risk.
Hedge funds mainly avoided the consequences of the financial meltdown they helped create, racking up gains through the '00's that far exceeded the rest of the stock market.
The hedge fund used to play a major role in absorbing and structuring the risks associated with hedging risks associated with large portfolios, but they now are sophisticated gambling enterprises.
Hedge funds supply market liquidity for the most exotic of instruments.
Prices shown in USD.
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