After weathering a dismal 2008, a disastrous 2009 and a decent 2010, things are definitely looking up for hedge funds this year thanks to improving economic conditions around the world and an influx of new capital from institutional investors, pension funds and sovereign wealth funds.

Hedge fund assets are now perched at an all-time high -- more than $2 trillion assets under management at the end of 2010 -- despite looming regulatory changes and increased scrutiny in the wake of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act.

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