Charles Schwab Corp. is planning to offer hedge funds next year, Reuters reported. The products will be tailored to less affluent clients than are normally invested in mutual funds, according to the report.

"We will offer three to four funds of funds with some 20 managers pursuing different strategies, so that there will be some diversification," said Jana Thompson, VP of specialized products for Schwab, according to the Reuters report.

Hedge funds have been developing into a formidable competitor to mutual funds, as brokers, fund companies pension funds and insurance companies join the high-net-worth investors who bankroll most funds (See MFMN Oct. 15, 2001).

Schwab will distribute the product through its network of 6,000 independent investment advisors, according to Reuters.

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