New data released on Thursday from the Hennessee Group, a New York-based hedge fund consulting firm, show that the average hedge fund rose 3.04% in April, whereas the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 8.30%, Reuters reports.

Year to date, hedge funds underperformed the broader market indices by rising only 4.03%, while the S&P 500 gained 4.89 percent.

Hedge funds, by employing a broad range of tactics such as selling short, and the fact that the individual manager often has personal financial assets involved in the fund, tend to fare better in falling markets than other methods of investment. Recently, hedge funds, which have been traditionally a method employed by wealthy investors, have become increasingly accessible to the masses, with some firms offering only a minimum of $5,000 dollars to get involved.

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