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Friday, April 11, 2014

Alts Are Tough to Benchmark? Duh.

News summary by MFWire's editors

It was perhaps inevitable, but it's also fairly obvious.

As firms stampede into the alts space, fundsters are now grappling with the issue of benchmarking them, reports Daisy Maxey of The Wall Street Journal.

On the one hand, you would expect that alts would be hard to benchmark. Alts are one of the last bastions for active managers to assert their uniqueness, to develop strategies that are different enough to make it hard for competitors to copy, and math wizards to index.

On the other hand, fundsters have to do something to gauge performance, right?

But how to do it?

Maxey's article points out that many experts are now trying a combination of benchmarks, in order to reflect the many strategies that may be in play within a single alt.

The Wall Street Journal reporter quotes Morningstar's director of alternative funds research Josh Charlson as saying "It's different from the traditional asset classes where there are very clear benchmarks that are investible alternatives."

Charlson was also interviewed in a story ran last week by MFWire on looking into Morningstar's efforts to better analyze the alts stampede

Edited by: Tommy Fernandez

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