Where does the word 'hedge' come from?

WORDS-WORTH: Dig around the business lexicon for the origins of the word 'hedge'.

by John Morrish

From Anglo-Saxon times, a 'hedge' has been a green boundary between pieces of land. 'Hedging' or 'hedging in' your property protects it. From the late 17th century, 'to hedge' meant to protect your stake in gambling by betting on the other side. In 1966, one Alfred Jones invented the 'hedged fund', an investment vehicle that used similar techniques to guarantee a positive outcome. Today's 'hedge funds' use the name but may not do any actual 'hedging'. Nor, of course, do they guarantee a positive outcome.

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