Trying to assess the risk of a hedge fund by comparing it to the competition is near impossible. But several companies are now trying to provide a dependable ratings service much like that available from Lipper, Reuters and Standard & Poor's for the mutual fund industry, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Not only would the performance of the hedge fund be rated, but along with it, so would be the management track record, risk levels, governance structures and other information collected by independent researchers.

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