Many European countries – France, Ireland, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Luxemboug – are allowing investors with only a few thousand dollars to invest in hedge funds, The Wall Street Journal reports. This is a far cry from the requirements in the U.S. that an investor by accredited with a minimum net worth of $1 million or more and have earned $200,000 or more in the past two years.

Deutsche Bank just launched a hedge fund-of-fund in Germany, and Allianz, Pioneer Investments and ABN Amro are expected to soon do the same.

"Europe has and continues to be ahead of the States in terms of acceptance of hedge-fund products from an [individual] investor perspective," Barry Colvin, president of Tremont Capital Management, told The Journal.

And although the U.K. has rather strict restrictions on hedge funds, now that Germany has loosened its own, some believe the U.K. might change its mind so as not to be surpassed by Germany as a hedge fund hub.

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The staff of Money Management Executive ("MME") has prepared these capsule summaries based on reports published by the news sources to which they are attributed. Those news sources are not associated with MME, and have not prepared, sponsored, endorsed, or approved these summaries.

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