The King Of GARP

In a year of hedge-fund blowups, Jeff Vinik scores with plain stock picking--and retires

Remember all that stuff about hedge-fund manager George Soros making $1 billion by betting against the British pound? Or how about the disastrous interest-rate bet that sank the Nobel prizewinners at another hedge fund, Long-Term Capital? If you're like me, tales of derring-do and derring-don't at the hedgies leave you scratching for clues. Is such high-risk investing any way to build a nest egg?

No. And now I can prove it. For starters, Long-Term Capital's spectacular demise in 1998 pointed to trouble for globetrotting hedge-fund hotshots. Soros and Tiger Management's Julian Robertson both ran aground this year. Indeed, the average hedge...

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