I've got some general questions about 'Funds of Funds'
Forgive me, but I'm a newbie to finance. I graduated last year with a humanities degree and I'm taking some time off right now to think about grad school/career options (while working a non-finance job on the side). I've done a lot of research online, and I've read some vault career guides (hedge funds, private equity, venture capital, investment banking, investment management, management consulting, etc.), so I'm starting to feel like I have at least a basic understanding of the financial sector as a whole.....and there's something that's striking me as odd - 'Funds of Funds'.
Let me get this straight - Hedge Funds and Private Equity Firms hire the brightest and hardest working people on the planet. These people then spend almost 100 hours a week looking over thousands and thousands of businesses/properties in search of value. These people then identify great ideas, and need to raise money to invest in those ideas - this is where funds of funds come into play.
Now, Funds of Funds. The people at these firms. Instead of looking at thousands and thousands of businesses/properties for value, all these people need to do is look at the top 10 or so private equity funds, and then pick the top 5 or so to invest their clients' money in!? Excuse me for sounding like an asshole here...but that sounds like an incredibly easy way to make a ton of money (and even a safer way, with the diversication of 5 or so different top funds).
I feel like I (a recent humanities graduate) could run a fund of fund successfully right now. If someone gave me a billion dollars, I could look up the top 5 performing private equity funds of 2010, give each 200 million, and then collect on the 20% gains (200 million) in 5 or so years.
I mean, I guess I just don't really get it!? It seems like such an incredibly easy way to make a ton of money!? What are the drawbacks!? Is it hard to raise money for a fund of fund? - it still seems much more profitable, and almost as secure, as the common mutual fund. Is it hard to make much in the way of management fee's? - I'm sure you wouldn't make as much as someone at a HF or PE firm...but for the amount of work you need to do - next to nothing - it seems like you'd still be getting a real nice slice of the pie.
Hopefully there are some people here with knowledge of funds of funds, or maybe even some people working for them. I'd like to learn as much as possible about them. Who are some of the top players? What do they look for in employees? How much do their employees make in comparision to other top financial professionals? Does anyone know of any good links or books where I could better educate myself?
Thank you in advance for any help!