What do you get for the young man who's already got a safety net made of golden threads brocaded with itty bitty Mercedes-Benzes? His very own hedge fund, where he can play with millions of dollars like a real live bizness-man!
Although the smart money of institutions has begun abandoning hedge funds after recognizing that they are first and foremost ways to extract huge fees from their investors, hedge funds are still a multitrillion-dollar business—an ideal field for the enterprising young man without any real talents, but with access to a large pool of money, to get into for a few years, before he realizes that succeeding in it is much harder than he thought. The Wall Street Journal notes that not one, not two, but quite a few sons of hedge fund titans are now starting their own hedge funds. They're capitalized, of course, with money from dad, as well as "friends and family," a group that, if you are the son of a wealthy hedge fund titan, tends to be full of people who can invest a few million in junior's little business venture without thinking much of it.
It is important to remember that successful hedge fund investing is an exceedingly rare skill in an exceeding competitive field. It's like an NBA all-star assuming his kid will also be an NBA all-star (except in a field that has an entry cost of hundreds of millions of dollars). It is, in other words, a very bad bet! An even worse bet, by orders of magnitude, than buying your teenager a Rolls Royce, and accepting the possibility that they could total it. A bet that you would never make unless you could absolutely afford to lose. The Journal details several twentysomethings and their enormous family-funded hedge fund nest eggs, but Andrew Marks, the son of billionaire investor Howard Marks, is certainly the least promising:
Several of the rookies are starting out with shorter track records than most new managers. The younger Mr. Marks graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2009 with a bachelor's degree in philosophy, politics and economics and later worked for hedge-fund firm Blue Ridge Capital LLC. A musician, he once sold an original song to the superhero-themed television series "Smallville." His fund will take a value approach to stock picking.
How soon can I give this young man all my money, to invest?