The relatively new class of hedged mutual funds have generally outperformed traditional mutual funds, an academic study shows. Moreover, those funds run by current or former managers of traditional hedge funds-versus mutual fund portfolio managers with no hedge fund experience-have a tendency to outperform on a persistent basis.

That's good news for the universe of long-short, market-neutral and other mutual funds that employ a growing array of hedge fund-like strategies, but unlike traditional hedge funds, appeal to Main Street's retail investors, offer daily liquidity, lower costs, lower minimum investments and operate in a heightened regulatory environment.

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