Media Bytes

March 9, 2006

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A compendium of condensed articles that appeared in the media during the last few weeks quoting members of the SFU community.

Hedge funds have bad rap
New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal, March 6

Definitions of hedge funds on the Internet often include terms like "wealthy private investors," "virtually unregulated" and "based offshore." Such terms would make most cautious investors run and hide. But the funds have been given a bad rap, and, properly managed, are safer than investing in equity markets, industry analysts say. SFU business professor Peter Klein and colleague Todd Brulhart compared hedge fund indices with equity markets and found the returns from investing in hedge funds were much less volatile. In other words, over the time period, hedge funds tended to earn returns that fell within a much narrower range. Equity indices on the other hand were more likely to springboard between large gains and large losses. "What the historic evidence says very clearly is the hedge fund portfolio is far less risky than the common stock portfolio," says Klein.

Tiffany's sparkle coming to Vancouver
CBC News, March 1

The lucrative New York-based Tiffany and Co. has announced plans to open a store in Vancouver this year. The store, slated to open in November, will be located downtown and will be approximately 5,000 square feet. The store tradition of identifying its products as Tiffany diamonds will be seen here in Canada as well. While there has been pressure on companies to brand their diamonds as Canadian, SFU marketing professor Lindsay Meredith says there's no incentive for Tiffany's to follow suit. "Tiffany's doesn't have to market a darn thing except Tiffany's. It has worldwide recognition. Frankly, trying to market a Canadian diamond is not in the category of a big payoff for Tiffany here."

Adultescence: good life with parents
Vancouver Province, Feb. 20

Enjoying the luxuries of life which was once limited to the rich or retired is now being experienced by Canadians in their 20s and early 30s. It may include having meals prepared for them, driving nice cars, or taking frequent vacations. This is all attributed to living with their parents. Social scientists have noticed that young men and women are achieving professional accomplishments that certainly allow them to leave home, yet there is unwillingness to starting an independent life of their own. According to SFU sociologist and author of The Boomerang Age: Transitions to Adulthood in Families, Barbara Mitchell: "Previously, if kids did stay at home longer, it was more to help their aging parents, whereas now it's because they're getting the benefits of housing and economic support to save money."

Post-secondary boom in Surrey
Georgia Straight, Feb. 17

SFU's Surrey campus opened its doors in 2002 and now, four years later, it continues to grow and provide a greater breadth of course offerings. Universities follow demographic demand and on the south side of the Fraser River 28.5 per cent of the area's population is under 24 years of age. The province aims to add 8,000 new post-secondary seats in the South Fraser area by 2010 and this will be the largest number of fulltime student equivalents for any area in the province. SFU Surrey director Joanne Curry says, "The ministry looks at the same numbers the rest of us look at in terms of population growth, the demographics (and) the fact that the Surrey school district is the largest in the province." Curry said that SFU's Surrey expansion shouldn't conflict with other academic growth in the area. "I'm sure there are areas of direct competition, but I think there's an air of cooperation."

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