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Opportunity funds have delivered higher returns than core funds over the period 2003-2009. While core fund returns have been especially disappointing, deeper analysis suggests that the additional returns delivered by the opportunity funds may not be adequate to compensate investors for the significantly higher levels of risk taken by fund managers to achieve these returns. With highly significant levels of 'beta' calculated in the opportunity fund samples and the closeness of the observed returns to hypothetical geared returns, the research found that opportunity fund returns over this period have been driven primarily through pure leverage and at a cost of huge risk to the investor. Performance fees charged by fund managers appear to reward pure risk-taking (beta) rather than manager skill (alpha).
Source : ULI