What do I want to be when I grow up?
That’s a question many young people may be asking themselves as a new school year starts.
Pilot, policeman, fireman, scientist. These are just some of the things I wanted to be when I was a kid.
But for our times, for the world today, is there a better, more appropriate, answer to the question?
I remember reading here a piece about the wealthiest people in America by state. That honor for Illinois belongs to Ken Griffin, founder of a hedge fund. His worth was listed at $5.5 billion.
This reminded me that billionaire candidate for Illinois governor Bruce Rauner also made his fortune as a hedge fund founder.
So, being a person in hedge funds — what is the proper nomenclature, hedge funder, or hedger? — must be quite profitable.
Unfortunately, I haven’t the foggiest idea what a hedge fund is.
So, I looked it up.
A hedge is defined as a boundary formed by closely growing bushes or shrubs. But that can’t be right. Who would pay billions to trim bushes?
I found the real answer on the Investopedia website. A hedge fund is defined as: “an aggressively managed portfolio of investments that uses advanced investment strategies such as leveraged, long, short and derivative positions with the goal of generating high returns. Legally, hedge funds are most often set up as private investment partnerships that are open to a limited number of investors and require very large initial minimum investment.’’
OK, I still don’t know what a hedge fund is. But I know that “high returns’’ is a good thing.
Can schools prepare a student for a career of hedge-funding?
Perhaps not in lower grades, where students concentrate on staying within the lines.
But in higher education, yes.
I checked with Northwestern University. That great school offers all kinds of stuff about hedge funds in such courses as, “Introduction to Hedge Funds,’’ “Wall Street, Hedge Funds and LBO Funds,’’ “Hedge Fund Law’’ and “Hedge Fund Investing.’’
It seems pretty clear that hedge funding is the way to go, career-wise.
Ah, if someone had only told me this when I was young, perhaps I could be typing this on my 23,000-acre ranch in Montana and Wyoming instead of on a cluttered dining room table in suburban Chicago.