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.

"There's no one source" for ratings, said Joel Schwab, managing director of Channel Capital Group, a New York hedge-fund-services firm. "That's the race that's going on right now."

This recent interest in rating hedge funds has been brought on by an incredible jump in the popularity of the hedge fund, a lightly regulated and mysterious type of fund.

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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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