Date of Award

Spring 5-2019

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



Advisor/Committee Chair

Ying Wang, Ph.D.


Hedge fund-like strategies in mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) have grown in popularity in the recent decade. This paper examines the value alternative strategies add for retail investors by comparing the performance of alternative ETFs and alternative mutual funds. Using a set of 50 ETFs and 324 mutual funds that offer alternative strategies (such as long/short equity and market neutral from Morningstar Direct) from November 2009 – December 2017. This study finds that alternative mutual funds do not outperform alternative ETFs on a gross return or a net return basis. Several factors have a significant impact on the return of alternative mutual funds and alternative ETFs. Investors should be aware of the differences between mutual funds and ETFs to decide which better suits their investing style.