Inspired by the recent reports of hedge fund managers making hundreds of millions of dollars a year, in some cases, more than $1 billion, NBC News this week ran a story on these fabulously wealthy people this.
“A little shorthand here,” NBC News Anchor Brian Williams told viewers. “The typical mutual fund buys stocks and bonds and can be relatively low risk. In a hedge fund, on the other hand, almost anything goes investmentwise. It is high risk and potentially very high reward.”
Reporter Carl Quintanilla then added, “Hedge funds, if you haven’t heard, are the rage on Wall Street, souped up private investing groups that bet aggressively on stocks, real estate, you name it—in ways your 401(k) plan isn’t allowed—in mind-boggling mathematical models.”
Fortune magazine Senior Editor-at-Large Geoff Colvin then said that many hedge fund managers are making more money than “anybody has ever made in history.”
While the lead-in, with its visuals of ultra-wealthy trappings—mansions, yachts, artwork and opulence—certainly inspired envy in many a viewer, the report was even-handed enough to note the spectacular blow-ups of many hedge funds, alluding most recently to Amaranth’s bad call on natural gas.
And Columbia Law School Professor John Coffee then warned that hedge funds are now going down the food chain to target “the upper middle class, the reasonably wealthy professional, rather than the millionaire or the super rich.”
Quintanilla didn’t sign off without noting that billionaire Warren Buffet has called hedge fund investing a “fool’s game.”