Difference between Hedge Fund and Private Equity (Explained)

Hedge funds and private equity funds have different objectives and investing strategies, even though their investor profiles are typically identical.

For example, high-net-worth investors, who demand investments of $250,000 or more, are drawn to hedge funds, which require a minimum investment of $250,000 or more, and private equity funds, which require a minimum investment of $250,000 more.

Comparison Between Hedge Fund And Private Equity

ParameterHedge FundPrivate Equity
InvestorsWhen investing in hedge funds, the investors are required to make their investments in a single transaction.Investors in private equity funds are given the flexibility to make investments in the funds whenever they see it necessary.
RestrictionsThere are constraints imposed on the extent to which hedge funds may be transferred.Over a certain amount of time, the transferability of private equity funds is not subject to any limitations.
TimeframeHedge funds are primarily concerned with making financial commitments to businesses that have the potential to provide big returns on their investments (ROI) in the not-too-distant future. To put it another way, hedge funds work toward the goal of making investments in portfolios that can provide a return in a shorter amount of time.Regarding private equity funds, it all comes down to placing investments in competent businesses to provide considerable returns over a somewhat more extended period. Put another way, and private equity funds seek to invest in portfolios that can provide returns over a more extended time frame.
CapitalOwners who want to invest their money into private equity funds must make capital contributions whenever they are asked to do so. This is a requirement of the funds. This obligation is placed on investors at the time of investment.The only investment required of investors who wish to put their money into hedge funds is a single upfront payment.
TaxesGains made via investments in private equity funds are exempt from taxation at any rate. Gains realized via the use of hedge funds are liable to be taxed.
TermRegarding hedge funds, no time restriction is placed on the fund’s life.In private equity, the lifespan of funds is determined by contractual obligations.
InvolvementInvestors in a hedge fund are given the option to take a passive role in managing the fund.Private equity is a kind of investment vehicle in which the investors have an active role.
difference between hedge fund and private equity

Differences Between Hedge Funds And Private Equity

What exactly is Hedge Fund?

Hedge funds utilize pooled money and various techniques to produce returns for investors. A hedge fund aims to generate significant investment returns rapidly.

To accomplish this, hedge funds invest primarily in highly liquid assets, allowing them to extract gains and reinvest in a more promising venture swiftly.

In addition, hedge funds employ leverage to boost returns. High-leveraged corporations were struck severely during the 2008 financial crisis. 

Key Differences: Hedge Fund

  • Investing in assets that provide a satisfactory ROI (return on investment) within a concise period may be accomplished using hedge funds.
  • Hedge funds are open-ended investment vehicles.
  • People who invest their money in hedge funds are sometimes called passive investors because of their investment strategy.
  • Regarding hedge funds, there is no set limit on the amount of time the funds may continue to exist.
  • Hedge funds only have a limited amount of influence over the securities they have under their management.
types of hedge fund

What exactly is Private Equity?

Private equity funds are similar to venture capital firms in that they invest directly in businesses, typically by acquiring private companies. However, they also buy shares in publicly listed corporations to gain control.

In addition, they utilize leveraged buyouts to purchase troubled firms. Unlike hedge funds, private equity funds concentrate on the long-term potential of their portfolio of firms.

Key Differences: Private Equity

  • Funds that engage in private equity look for businesses that have the potential to generate bigger earnings over a longer period of time.
  • Closed-end investment funds are what are known as private equity funds.
  • Investors that put their money into private equity funds are considered active players in the industry.
  • The fund’s operating agreement often stipulates the tenure of a fund that invests in private equity.
  • Investors in private equity funds have a larger degree of influence than investors in other kinds of funds on managing the fund’s assets and operations.
types of private equity

Contrast Between Hedge Funds And Private Equity

What it is: 

  • Hedge Fund- Private investors control and manage the assets of hedge funds, which are financial entities for making investments. These vehicles combine the funds contributed by their investors into a single pool, which is then used to purchase a wide variety of financial assets.
  • Private Equity- Private equity funds, sometimes PE funds, are a kind of investment vehicle typically managed by limited partnerships. Their major goal is to purchase and restructure companies not publicly traded on stock markets to fulfill their mission.

The horizon of time: 

  • Hedge Fund- Because most of a hedge fund’s holdings comprise liquid assets, investors often have complete discretion over when and how they remove their cash from the investment vehicle.
  • Private Equity- The focus on the long-term of private equity funds, on the other hand, frequently necessitates the imposition of a requirement on investors to make a financial commitment for a minimum period of time, which ranges anywhere from three to five years, but more frequently falls somewhere between seven and ten years.

Measuring Performance: 

  • Hedge Fund- Realizing private equity success often occurs only when the target rate has been attained.

    During the early years of investment, private equity typically reports a mostly negative performance. Hedge funds, on the other hand, have their success acknowledged over time as assets are invested.
  • Private Equity- Internal Rate of Return (IRR) is the metric used to evaluate private equity performance. In most cases, private equity must meet a minimum rate before it is considered successful.

    When investing in hedge funds, profits are often received immediately, and performance is frequently evaluated about a benchmark to qualify for further incentive fees.


  • Hedge Fund- The goal of hedge funds is to achieve maximum short-term profits, requiring them to take greater risks.

    During both practice risk management by mixing higher-risk assets with safer investments, hedge funds emphasize maximizing earnings in the near term.
  • Private Equity- Both hedge and private equity funds have a certain amount of risk; however, the degree of that risk varies significantly across the two types of funds.

    The discipline of private equity risk management involves mixing investments with greater risk with ones with lower risk.


  • Hedge Fund- The vast majority of hedge funds are open-ended, which means that investors are not limited in any way in their ability to continue purchasing shares or to sell whatever holdings they already have at any time.

    This is because open-ended hedge funds do not impose any cap on the total amount of money that can be invested.
  • Private Equity- Conversely, private equity funds are examples of closed-ended investment vehicles.

    This suggests that once an initial length of time has passed and the fund has achieved its full capacity, more contributions of money cannot be made to the fund. This presumption is based on the fund’s reaching its entire capacity.


  • Hedge Fund- An investor in a hedge fund will never get back the money that they put into the fund until the firm is closed down for whatever reason or the investor pulls out of the funds on purpose.
  • Private Equity- When it comes to private equity, the distribution of portfolio liquidation continues until the investor has received the amount he invested.

    In some cases, “preferred returns” are also received, which are calculated as a certain percentage of the investor’s contributed amount, and these are then distributed among investors and the fund manager in a ratio of generally 80-20.


  • Hedge Fund- Hedge funds may then choose to freeze those funds for a time ranging from several months to an entire year, making it impossible for investors to withdraw their money until the specified amount of time has passed.

    This lock-up period allows the fund to correctly deploy that money to investments by their plan, which may take some time.
  • Private Equity– A private equity fund will have a lock-up term that is much longer, often ranging between three and seven years.

    This is because an investment in private equity is less liquid and requires more time for the firm in which it is invested to turn around.

Releasing money:

  • Hedge Fund- In the case of savings, no predetermined length of time must pass before you can access your money.

    In contrast, when investing in hedge funds, you must withdraw the whole amount you have committed right once. This sum is put into marketable securities that are transacted in real-time.
  • Private Equity- In the case of private equity, you are not required to invest money from your account immediately; rather, you must commit the capital to be paid shortly for any deal the portfolio manager does in the private market. Investing money from your account is not required in the case of public equity.


  • Hedge Fund- The most frequent fee structure for the Hedge fund is a 1.5% charge for management and a 20% fee dependent on performance. Typically, a hedge fund’s first dollar of profit is when the performance fee comes in.

    In contrast, performance fees in Private equity are not received until the investor reaches the desired return. The lower fees in private equity are due to the industry’s preference for a higher rate of return.
  • Private Equity- Fees of Private Equity are assessed on many assumptions: investment duration, fund life, average holding time, carry percentage, and maximum % financed.

    Private equity fees are two-tiered. Tier 1 is the first five years of the investment committee at a rate of 1.5% per year in fees, decreasing to 1.0% afterward.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. What is public equity?

Investors have the chance to purchase publicly traded securities, such as stocks and bonds, on a market exchange that is both transparent and liquid, thanks to the existence of public markets.

All kinds of investors have easy access to various public equity investments.

Q2. Where do Private Equity Investments fit into the bigger picture?

As a result of the first leveraged buyout of Carnegie Steel Corporation in 1901, J.P.

Morgan merged Carnegie Steel with Federal Steel and National Tube to become United States Steel, which is now the world’s largest steel manufacturer. The Glass-Steagall Act enacted a restriction on bank mergers and acquisitions in 1933.

Q3. To make money, how do private equity companies do it?

Management fees are the principal source of income for private equity companies. Private equity companies charge management and performance fees as part of their fee structure.

In certain cases, a 2% yearly management fee is charged on managed assets, and 20% of a company’s earnings are required when it is sold.

Q4. What was the first hedge fund?

Hedge funds were initially established by Alfred Winslow Jones & Co., a corporation founded by the former writer and sociologist.

When Jones wrote an essay on financial patterns earlier that year, he was motivated to try his hand at money management. He raised $100,000 and sought to reduce the risk of long-term stock investments by short-selling other equities.

Q5. What is the actual meaning of equity?

Assuming that all of a company’s assets are liquidated and+ all of its obligations are paid off in the case of a liquidation, the amount of money that would be given to the shareholders is called equity.

When a firm is acquired, the purchase price equals the company’s selling price, less any liabilities that were not transferred with the sale.

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