Despite all the mythology out there about hedge fund managers getting extremely rich for finding bizarre trading opportunities, most people have very little idea what they actually do.
About 65% of the people Thesis Fund Management polled recently couldn't explain the hedge fund concept when asked.
It's a shame Thesis didn't break out the results by income level, since as yet true hedge funds are restricted to qualified investors -- and arguably the less everyone else thinks about these investments, the better.
But as Thesis notes, many formerly long-only asset managers are steadily moving toward adding hedged strategies to their mutual fund families.
Once those products get traction, even the middle class 401(k) investor could end up needing to know a lot more about hedge funds.
After all, the allure of these alternative strategies with the qualified investors is already well known, so it's likely that hedged mass market products will be fairly popular.
And far too many people over the decades have invested in something they couldn't understand. All it needs is a sexy market image.