Abstract: We study the diversification effects from introducing hedge funds into a traditional portfolio of stocks and bonds. Our results make it clear that in terms of skewness and kurtosis equity and hedge funds do not combine very well. Although the inclusion of hedge funds may significantly improve a portfolio's mean-variance characteristics, it can also be expected to lead to significantly lower skewness as well as higher kurtosis. This means that the case for hedge funds includes a definite trade-off between profit and loss potential. Our results also emphasize that to have at least some impact on the overall portfolio, investors will have to make an allocation to hedge funds which by far exceeds the typical 1-5% that many institutions are currently considering.