UPDATE

September 2, 2005

On finance and practice.

Do the wealthy sense a housing slump?

Checking up on corporate policies

Read the fine print when buying a used car

Don't get clipped by a hedge fund

Before you invest in a hedge fund, make sure you understand its risks and potential conflicts of interest, warns the New York Stock Exchange. While hedge funds don't usually provide a prospectus as mutual funds are required to do, they often have a "private placement memorandum," which should clearly spell out risk factors and what other accounts the fund manager handles. The stock exchange has posted a brochure for hedge fund investors at http://www.nyse.com/pdfs/Hedge_Fund_Investing.pdf

Protect your boat from these sharks

Roughly 775 boats are stolen every month in the US, and the most likely target isn't a luxury yacht. So says the National Insurance Crime Bureau, a nonprofit anti-insurance-fraud organization. Boat thieves are more likely to make off with a smaller craft that's less than 20 feet long, which they often sell to unsuspecting consumers. To protect your boat, always secure it to a dock or buoy with a locked steel cable, install an alarm, and, when it's docked for a long time, disable it by removing the battery or distributor cap. Don't leave registration or title papers on board, and photograph or otherwise record the hull identification number, a 12-character identifier that's located on the stern.