The loosely regulated hedge fund industry posted a 19% gain last year, attracting $73.6 billion in new assets, according to data released by Hedge Fund Research Inc.

Hedge funds, which now manage roughly $972.6 billion in assets, have exploded in popularity as investors contributed $27 billion in new money in the final quarter of 2004. That was a sharp rise from the $16.9 billion added in the previous quarter.

Subscribe Now

Access to premium content including in-depth coverage of mutual funds, hedge funds, 401(K)s, 529 plans, and more.

3-Week Free Trial

Insight and analysis into the management, marketing, operations and technology of the asset management industry.