Mutual funds come in every shape, size and color imaginable. How else are newcomers and smaller fund firms supposed to contend against 8,500 of their peers, already extant?

Entrenched equity and bond fund shops such as PIMCO, Vanguard and Franklin Templeton are now seeing some of their assets flow into alternative mutual funds that can go long, short, or into the future. This follows in the footsteps of the managed futures mutual funds recently launched by Forward Management and Altegris. Don't forget about those 130/30 funds, which gave investors 130% exposure to long portfolios and 30% exposure to short portfolios, that have gone quiet since their debut in 2006-2007.

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