We are off to an interesting year which will hopefully be much better and more stable for everyone than the last one. As we aim to rebuild what was lost and move forward in the year 2021, the important question is where the necessary funds will go to. Investment decisions will be as crucial for the markets as ever. Thus the key hedge fund industry trends will be closely watched by everyone in business and finance. Below is the forecast of which trends are going to continue strong in 2021 and shape the hedge fund industry for years to come.
Hedging the risks
The initial idea behind hedge funds is to design an investment strategy that would be virtually immune to losing money. This is done by combining long-term strategies with short selling ones, hedging the risks in a way that investors are supposed to come out on top regardless of the changes in market conditions.
However, unfortunately, it is not that simple. Hedge funds can still fail due to unforeseen circumstances and sometimes such failures are of staggering magnitude. And as the industries grow and global markets open up, there is an increasing variety of different events that might cause unforeseen fluctuations in the market.
Therefore, the forecasting abilities of investment analysts also need to be strengthened to catch up with the markets and reduce risks. This necessity is a strong driving force behind the trends in the hedge fund industry that currently dominate and will continue to rise.
Additionally, investment funds are generally always interested in technological innovation as this has been proven throughout the years to be one of the main forces generating advantages over the competition. Thus, hedge funds and financial firms will be looking into emerging possibilities to adapt and adopt new technologies for increased efficiency and better results.
Five trends to look out for in 2021
The year is now well on its way so we can identify the tendencies in the hedge fund industry that stand out. Most of the actions of investment firms come as no surprise as they go in the same direction where the industry has been moving for the better part of 21st century thus far.
Here are the five clear trends that will define 2021 for hedge funds and are likely to continue strong throughout the decade.
1) Alternative data. This is the trend that has pretty much defined this century and especially the last decade. There was a time when hedge funds have been using a rather limited amount and types of data that mostly came directly from industry sources. That time is gone and unlikely to ever return. Now financial firms utilize all kinds of data from alternative sources to enhance decision making. And as data-producing technology will rise with more and more sensors created every year, alternative data will remain a key trend in the industry.
2) Data-driven recruitment. Financial firms have been utilizing data-driven hiring strategies to increase hiring efficiency and quality of hires. Data-driven recruitment is set to rise in usage in hedge funds as it has shown favorable results thus far, proving to improve the hiring experience both for HR and the candidates.
3) Machine learning. Related to the above, machine learning is the key feature of artificial intelligence that hedge funds have been very interested in. And as the last year has shown significant improvements in the technology even to the point where black swan events are not as huge a problem as it used to be for AI, the ability of algorithms to learn on their will certainly be continuously utilized to build investment models and make predictions. Of course, this will reinforce the necessity of alternative data as algorithms are being trained through constant data analysis.
4) Environmental, social, and governance investing. Socially responsible investing is gaining momentum as it is clearer than ever that every investment choice also matters on a bigger level. Thus, hedge funds will continue to evaluate their investment strategies not only by direct returns but also by the long-term effects they have on the environment and society.
5) Automation of procedures. The drive towards automation is a general trend not only of this century but of the last one as well. However, now as AI is capable of doing more than before, it has become possible to automate a lot of daily procedures in the hedge fund, including some managerial tasks, directing how employees engage with the clients.
Summing up: investing and AI
As we can see, all the foreseeable trends point to the fact that AI and data analysis will, for a large part, define the investment industry in the future. This does not mean that there will be no place left for humans in hedge funds. Rather it means that their task s will be different and more connected to handling data and using AI. Therefore, cooperation between people and technology is something hedge fund managers will work on for years to come.