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For many investors, hedge funds appear to be shrouded in mystery.

Theres a practical reason for this. The best hedge funds are extremely careful about protecting their ideas and tactics, because they provide an important competitive advantage for making profits. An example that illustrates the paranoia around this was described inFlash Boysby Michael Lewis, where he noted that at the ultra-secretive firm Citadel, it took five ID card swipes for an employee to simply start her day.

Theres also a psychological reason for the secrecy which is that hedge funds want to appear incredibly complex and sophisticated, so that accredited investors will part with their money in order to get exposure to them. While hedge fund tactics are often intricate and extremely lucrative, understanding how they work is not as impenetrable as it may seem.

Todays infographic comes to use fromStocksToTrade, and it captures 48 terms that can serve as an entry point for any investor into the mysterious world of hedge funds.

It covers essential ideas around how hedge funds make their bets, such as: arbitrage, hedging, pairs trading, alpha, and beta. The infographic also looks at hedge fund terms around measuring performance and risk, as well as words that describe fee structures and payouts.

Interestingly enough, we live during a time when modern technology has also allowed retail investors more access to these types of tactics than ever before. Take a look at this infographic onalternative investments, which gives examples of ETFs and mutual funds that mimic traditional hedge fund strategies such as long/short equity, merger arbitrage, or managed futures.

Want to learn more about how hedge funds work?

This post onWallStreetMojooutlines nine popular hedge fund strategies, or check out our favorite book on global macro investing:Inside the House of Moneyby Steven Drobny.

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We all have a stereotypical image of the average consumer but is it an accurate one? Meet the modern consumer, and what it means for business.

There is a prevailing wisdom that says the stereotypical American consumer can be defined by certain characteristics.

Based on what popular culture tells us, as well as years of experiences and data, we all have an idea of what the average consumer might look for in a house, car, restaurant, or shopping center.

But as circumstances change, so do consumer tastes and according toa recent reportby Deloitte, the modern consumer is becoming increasingly distinct from those of years past. For us to truly understand how these changes will affect the marketplace and our investments, we need to rethink and update our image of the modern consumer.

In their analysis, Deloitte leans heavily on big picture demographic and economic factors to help in summarizing the three major ways in which consumers are changing.

Here are three ways the new consumer is different than in years past:

In terms of ethnicity, the Baby Boomers are 75% white, while the Millennial generation is 56% white. This diversity also transfers to other areas as well, such as sexual and gender identities.

Not surprisingly, future generations are expected to be even more heterogeneous Gen Z, for example, identifies as being 49% non-white.

Todays consumers are more educated than ever before, but its come at a stiff price. In fact, the cost of education has increased by 65% between 2007 and 2017, and this has translated to a record-setting $1.5 trillion in student loans on the books.

Other costs have mounted as well, leaving the bottom 80% of consumers with effectively no increase in discretionary income over the last decade. To make matters worse, if you single out just the bottom 40% of earners, they actually have less discretionary income to spend than they did back in 2007.

Getting married, having children, and buying a house all have one major thing in common: they can be expensive.

The average person under 35 years old has a 34% lower net worth than they would have had in the 1990s, making it harder to tackle typical adult milestones. In fact, the average couple today is marrying eight years later than they did in 1965, while the U.S. birthrate is at its lowest point in three decades. Meanwhile, homeownership for those aged 24-32 has dropped by 9% since 2005.

The modern consumer base is more diverse, but also must deal with increased financial pressures and a delayed start in achieving traditional milestones of adulthood. These demographic and economic factors ultimately have a ripple effect down to businesses and investors.

How do these big picture changes impact your business or investments?

Its hard to ignore the massive economic opportunities available in the Chinese market, but its also notoriously difficult to succeed in.

Chinas economic surge is one of the biggest stories of the 21st century.

Hundreds of millions of people have been lifted out of poverty, and Chinas swelling middle class has attracted the interest of Western companies.

As many American companies have discovered, doing business in China is far from straightforward. Recent history is littered with examples of companies that entered the Chinese market to great fanfare, only to retreat a few years later.

Todays infographic highlights 11 companies that ended up tapping the brakes on their ambitious forays on the other side of the Pacific.

Then, we take a look at the factors that influenced these strategic withdrawals.

Here are some high profile examples of corporate u-turns by American companies operating in the Chinese market:

When Google Chinas search engine was launched in 2006, the company had made the controversial decision to censor search results within the country. Google publicly displayed a disclaimer indicating that some results were removed, which created tensions with the Chinese government.

For a while, things seemed to be going well. Even though a domestic company,Baidu, had captured the majority of the Chinese search market, Google did have a respectable market share of about 30%.

Google Chinas fortune took a turn for the worse in 2010 after a major hack Operation Aurora exposed user data as well as intellectual property. The hack, which originated from within China, was the last straw for Googles executive team. After one last ditch effort to provide unfiltered search results within China, the company retreated beyond the firewall.

Amazon was an early entrant into the Chinese market. In 2004, the company acquired Joyo an online shopping site which was eventually rebranded to Amazon China in 2011.

Amazon China achieved some early success hitting a market share of around 15%, but today, that market share has eroded to less than 1%. Facing nearly insurmountable competition from domestic e-commerce platforms like JD and Taobao, the company recentlyannouncedit would be exiting the Chinese market.

After arriving fashionably late for the ride-hailing party in 2014, it quickly became clear that Uber was facing an uphill battle against well-funded domestic rivals. After only two years, Uber elected to u-turn out of the Chinese market.

Though Ubers tactical exit from China is often viewed as a failure, the company has earned upwards of $8B through its sale to competitor Didi Chuxing.

Now that red-hot growth at home is beginning to taper off, a number of Chinese companies have begun their push into other markets around the world. Much like their American counterparts, brands pushing beyond Chinas borders are seeing varied success in their expansion efforts.

One high-profile example is Huawei. The telecommunications giant has been making inroads in countries around the world particularly in emerging markets but has seen pushback and scrutiny in a number of developed economies. Huawei has become a lightning rod for growing concerns over government surveillance and Chinasgrowing influenceover the global communications network.

Already, Australia has blocked the company from participating in its5G network, and in the United States, government agencies are banned from buying Huawei gear.

If negative sentiment continues to build, it remains to be seen whether Huawei and other Chinese companies will follow the playbook of American brands in China, and turn the car around.

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