Financial advisors considering mutual funds that mimic traditional long/short hedge funds should take into account several factors about these increasingly popular funds, such as the fund's mandate, experts say.

A back-to-basics approach will go far toward understanding the complexities of the investment strategy, which has been on an asset-gathering tear. About $22.5 billion of new money flowed into these vehicles last year, accounting for about 8.4% of all equity fund inflows, according to Morningstar. In all of 2013, 27 funds were launched, and 16 more started up in the first quarter of 2014, to bring Morningstar's count to 121.

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