December 03, 2007
Book Review: Hedge Hunters by Katherine Burton
* Genre: Business
* ISBN: 1576602451
* ISBN-13: 9781576602454
* Format: Hardcover, 224pp
* Publisher: Bloomberg Press
* Pub. Date: November 2007
Hedge Hunters is a collection of interviews of hedge fund managers and their protégés. The author of Hedge Hunters Katherine Burton, sat down with these financial renegades and tried to ascertain what made them tick.
Surprisingly, what she found is that there is no one way to manage a hedge fund. All of the people she interviewed had different backgrounds. Some came from commodities, some from prestigious schools, some were engineers, and some were lawyers. The only thing that really made any of them similar is their drive to succeed, their winning track records, and their desire to seek a profit for their investors.
Each of the Hedge Hunters profiled in this book have different styles of investing, different niche areas, and different goals. What Burton has done in this book is reassure the financial student that no matter their background, if they work at it, seek new skills, and find a good mentor, they too can have successful, billion dollar hedge funds.
This book is a good resource for someone who only knows a little about hedge funds, or who wants to learn more about the personalities behind the success. Those people who enjoy reading Donald Trump’s success books are a likely audience as well. This book also tries to give strategies for succes based in personality, rather than method. Each chapter has the brevity of an article, (Burton is reporter for Bloomberg) and so makes for good plane or lunch hour reading.
Although at times Burton can be a bit repetitious in her phrasing, it will help the initiate to the world of hedge funds better understand the investing process. The reader may also tire of the sheer number of interviews; there are 18 chapters in all, and a lot of overlap in styles and methods. The reader would do well to focus on reading the chapter most relevant to what they would like to do, and then expanding outward into some of the other interviews. And this is not a how-to book of hedge fund investing, but rather a look into the minds of the people who make them successful. Mom and pop investor will not glean much from this, as the "masters" are mostly using institutional investors money and so have little to say to the small investor.
Burton did an excellent job in finding a cross section of managers representing all different styles and methods. There are really careful managers, the mavericks, and the manager of all the managers. She also worked hard to get the guys at the top of their game to name the up and coming newbies. Those people seeking to invest in the hedge fund world would be wise to watch the names of these “Picks” as Burton calls them. They are the 30 something managers who will be rocking the market in the very near future.
I recommend this book to anyone looking to invest in the hedge fund world, anyone desiring a career in this niche, or anyone who manages money for others. There are a lot of good insights, both humble and proud, into what it means to invest other people’s money. There is good discussion of pros and cons in the hedge fund world, and what needs to be done when you make that bad decision that costs a lot of money. It was interesting for me to read, as I work for a small fund manager, to see what the big boys do, and how they made it from million dollar companies to billion dollar companies. Hedge Hunters is an excellent resource and addition to the small library of fund management books.Posted by John on December 3, 2007 01:59 PM | Posted to Business | Nonfiction