Finding the right profit-path

Hedge fund managers face an increasingly broad array of instruments to gain exposure to corporate profits. Global Trader's Charlie Brook-Partridge examines three on offer - physical shares, contracts for difference and spread products - and analyses which will be the most appropriate route to take, given the needs and limitations of your own organisation's trading programme

Investing in the performance of an individual company is a practice that stretches back for centuries, but it is only relatively recently that it has become a widespread profession in itself.

There is now a growing number of financial tools available to the discerning investor with variable costs and risks attached.

Three of the methods of gaining exposure to a company's fortunes more commonly used by hedge funds are shares, contracts for difference (CFDs) and spread trading.

The most traditional

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