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Handbook of Alternative Assets (Frank J. Fabozzi Series) Hardcover – 19 Sep 2006

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The Handbook of Alternative Assets merges the data and strategies of four key alternative asset classes into one handy guide for the serious investor. This concise handbook classifies four types of alternative assets: hedge funds, commodity and managed futures, private equity, and credit derivatives, and shows you how these assets can be used to hedge and expand any portfolio. Organized by sections–one for each alternative asset class–the Handbook of Alternative Assets explores four of the major alternative asset classes in detail, while providing expert advice along the way.

The Handbook of Alternative Assets opens with a review of hedge funds–providing a brief history of the birth of hedge funds and an introduction to the various types of hedge fund investment strategies. This section also provides practical guidance for selecting hedge funds and conducting due diligence. Through these and many other discussions, you′ll learn how to build a hedge fund investment program, analyze hedge fund return distributions, and manage some of the risks associated with hedge fund investments.

The second section of this practical handbook is devoted entirely to commodity and managed futures. After a brief review of the economic value inherent in commodity futures contracts, you′ll become familiar with the three sources of value associated with them and understand how they can help to diversify a portfolio. In addition to discussing the benefits of managed futures, long and short commodity futures are also explained.

You′ll gain a firm grasp of private equity by learning about the four traditional sources of private equity: venture capital, leveraged buyouts, mezzanine financing, and distressed debt, as well as new venues of private equity such as crossover funds, PIPES, interval funds, and private equity investments in private equity. Analysis of these various types of private equity investments and a review of the business and due diligence issues associated with them give you the most well–rounded approach to private equity that is currently available.

The final section of the Handbook of Alternative Assets is devoted to credit derivatives. This section includes a review of the importance of credit risk, some of the new instruments that allow you to access the credit markets, and the role of credit derivatives within a diversified portfolio.

Written by a professional for professionals, the Handbook of Alternative Assets discusses the pros and cons of alternative assets, and outlines strategies for incorporating these assets into a diversified portfolio. With expert advice and proven techniques this comprehensive handbook will help any professional match alternative assets with various investment goals. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

Since the first edition of the Handbook of Alternative Assets was published, significant events from the popping of the technology bubble and massive accounting scandals to recessions and bear markets have shifted the financial landscape. These changes have provided author Mark J. P. Anson with an excellent opportunity to examine alternative assets during a different part of the economic cycle than previously observed in the first edition.

Fully revised and updated to reflect today′s financial realities, the Handbook of Alternative Assets, Second Edition covers the five major classes of alternative assets hedge funds, commodity and managed futures, private equity, credit derivatives, and corporate governance and outlines the strategies you can use to efficiently incorporate these assets into any portfolio. Throughout the book, new chapters have been added, different data sources accessed, and new conclusions reached.

Designed as both an introduction to the world of alternative assets and as a reference for the active investor, the Handbook of Alternative Assets, Second Edition will help you match alternative assets with your various investment goals.

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Amazon.com: 9 reviews
41 of 45 people found the following review helpful
Truely a Handbook 16 Feb. 2004
By Avinash P. Mulye - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I used this book for my preparations towards CAIA Level 1 exam. And I am impressed. Mr. Anson is an authority and this is truely a great book for Alternative Investment aspirants.
If you want to have a very solid grasp of any of the following alternative investment approaches then this is the book you should turn to -
Hedge funds
Commodity and managed futures
Private equity (5 catagories)
....Venture Capital
....Mezzannine Financing
....Distressed Debt
....CrossOver/Interval/PIPE and PEPE funds
Credit derivatives
Corporate Governance
Mr. Anson helps you build strong fundamentals. Actually he clearly explains what constitutes Alternative Assets(Aha !!!) as against fundamental and/or capital assets and what is meant by alternative investment strategies.
This is followed by a rigorous analysis of the topics listed above in that order.
I particularly enjoyed his coverage of Hedge Funds. He explains each of the 10 Hedge Fund strategies in a systematic fashion. From a variety of angles including Market(S&P500), Risk, Regulatory, Due Diligence/Operational/Administrative perspective.
The coverage of Commodity Derivatives is also superb. Although confined to 4 chapters this coverage is sufficient to gain an intermediate level insight into the Commodities.
The coverage for Private Equity is less comprehensive(but good) compared to it's actual scope in real world. I particularly expected a more rigorous coverage for LBOs.
Although I did not touch credit derivatives and CorpGov I could tell you for sure that these topics must have been covered well.
As I read 19 out of 22 chapters.
To put it in a nutshell - This is a very good book for Hedge fund aspirants and prospective Alternative investment professionals.
For more info about CAIA please visit [...]
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Good content, but horribly edited 18 July 2007
By Hilary - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I had to buy this for the CAIA exam. In reading it, I find on average one typo a page. I have found at least one chart misreferenced in the text. It is very distracting. Given that Mr. Anson is on the Curriculum Committee for the exam, it is not surprising that his text is on the list of required readings. Perhaps it is all that is out there. But Shame on Wiley for publishing it in the rough draft that it seems to be.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Uneven 29 Aug. 2007
By PM - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I have to agree with the woman from SC below -- this book is horribly edited. The typos are everywhere.

Also, some of the statements are questionable generalizations - e.g. p.100, Anson is quoting a hedge fund document:

"Consider the following language from a hedge fund disclosure document.

'The fund's objective is to make investments in public securities that generate a long term return in excess of that generated by the overall US equity market...'

...[T]he manager identifies that it invests in the US public equity market."

In fact, the sentence quoted from the hedge fund document does not state what Anson says, only that the return should exceed the overall US equity market, long-term, by investing in public securities, not necessarily US public equities.

There are also questionable statements about portfolio theory: p.21 "Diversification, [comma? sic] is a way to minimize the risk of underperformance, but, at the same time, it minimizes the probability of outperformance."
In fact, diversification's benefit can be divorced from any benchmark, and the conclusion that a reader might draw from this (that concentrated managers will outperform more diversified ones with regularity, or are somehow more attractive) is misleading. Concentrated managers will have higher variance. Diversification decreases the expected variance around the expected mean return -- it does not necessarily lower the expected return (if you diversify with higher returning investments, your expected return can go up while your expected variance can come down, even if the new investments are more volatile that the old), or the "probability of outperformance", which is not an output of portfolio theory.
A more accurate statement in this context would be that, "As your portfolio converges to the benchmark portfolio, your returns will converge to the benchmark return."

Here's one more: p. 102
"Generally, process risk is not a risk that investors wish to bear. Nor is it a risk for which they expect to be compensated. How would an investor go about pricing the process risk of a hedge fund manager? It can't be quantified, and it can't be calibrated. There is no way to tell whether an institutional investor is being properly compensated for this risk."
The second sentence here answers the fifth sentence? Since process risk is entirely diversifiable, the proper compensation (risk premium) for this risk is simply zero.

There are lots of these. It's just too broad, too sweeping in it's generalizations, which lead to more questions.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Good Book but do not upgrade to online version from amazon! 16 Jan. 2008
By Peace-Riz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The content of the book is good and useful. However please do not upgrade to amazon online accesss. I upgraded and every other day you cannot acccess the entire book online.You can only browse first 8 pages and then when you call amazon customer service they would temporarily resolve the issue only to have the same issue reoccur again.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Clear overview of all 10 Hedge Fund Strategies 6 July 2007
By R. Malladi - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book is part of the CAIA exam reading and well worth it. It clearly explains what are some of the strategies put to work by the Hedge Fund managers. Very clearly articulates the similarities and differences between all the 10 possible Hedge Fund strategies (ex: equity long/short, market neutral, convertable arbitrage)

This is the best book on Hedge Funds for someone looking for an overview of the industry.
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