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How Hedge-Funders Are Spending Their Cash

Date: Monday, April 21, 2008
Author: WSJ.com

After Alpha Magazine this week released its hedge-fund list, showing the top 25 fund managers earned $16 billion in 2007, I started wondering: What do hedge-funders do with all that money?

They do what most people do after big years — they spend it.

According to survey done this week by Prince & Associates, the Connecticut-based wealth-research firm, hedge funders are still spending millions on art, jewelry, watches, hotels and spas. And most plan to spend more in 2008 than they did in 2007.

The study polled 188 hedge funders with a minimum net worth of $30 million and a median net worth of $66 million about their spending over the past 12 months. The biggest spending categories were:

ART– About 48% of the sample spent money on art, with average spending of $4 million. OK, $4 million only gets you a Cy Twombly pencil scribble or a miniature Warhol, but it’s still respectable.

JEWELRY — Jewelers in Greenwich, Conn., must be happy these days — 99% of the hedge-funders polled said they spent money on jewlery, with the average being $582,000. Fully 98% said their bling budget this year will be the same or more.

WATCHES — Hedge-funders never have time to spare, but they have a decided excess of watches. About two-thirds bought watches in the past 12 months, with an average spend of $318,000.

SPA — Almost three-quarters of the hedge funders spent money on spa services, with an average spend of $135,200.

As for “Entertaining Friends,” the lowest category measured? All of the hedge-funders surveyed spent money entertaining, but the average spend was a mere $94,000.