Alternative Investments You Should Consider Today

Written: Editor | June 21, 2023

What is an Alternative Investment?

Have you ever wondered if there are investment options beyond the traditional stock market or real estate? Well, you’re in luck! In this section, we’ll explore the exciting world of alternative investments and how they can diversify your portfolio and potentially offer higher returns.

So, what exactly is an alternative investment? Essentially, it’s any investment that falls outside the conventional asset classes, such as stocks, bonds, and cash. Alternative investments can range from tangible assets like rare coins and collectibles to intangible assets like hedge funds and private equity. They offer investors an opportunity to explore unique avenues and potentially achieve excellent returns.

Now that we have a basic understanding of what alternative investments are, let’s dive into the benefits they can bring to your portfolio:

  • Diversification: Adding alternative investments to your portfolio can help spread risk across different asset classes. By including assets that have low correlation with traditional investments, you can potentially reduce the impact of market volatility.
  • Potential for higher returns: Alternative investments often offer the potential for higher returns compared to traditional investments. For example, investing in venture capital or private equity can provide access to promising startups before they go public, potentially leading to significant gains.
  • Inflation protection: Some alternative investments, like real estate or commodities, have historically acted as a hedge against inflation. When inflation rises, the value of these assets may increase, helping to preserve your purchasing power.
  • Opportunity for passion investments: Alternative investments allow you to invest in things you genuinely love and are passionate about. Whether it’s fine art, vintage wines, or classic cars, these investments can bring a unique sense of enjoyment and personal fulfillment.
  • Access to exclusive opportunities: Many alternative investments, such as hedge funds or private equity, are typically only available to accredited or institutional investors. By including these assets in your portfolio, you gain access to investment opportunities that may not be available to the general public.

Alternative investments offer a world of possibilities beyond the traditional investment landscape. However, it’s important to remember that they also come with their fair share of risks. In the next section, we’ll explore these

Benefits of Alternative Investments

When it comes to investing, most people immediately think of stocks, bonds, and real estate. But did you know there’s a whole world of alternative investments out there? These non-traditional investment options can offer some unique benefits that you might not find with more traditional assets. Let’s explore the advantages of alternative investments:

  • Diversification: One of the main benefits of alternative investments is that they can provide diversification to your portfolio. By adding assets that have a low correlation to traditional investments, you can potentially reduce risk and improve overall returns. Diversification is like having a safety net for your investments.
  • Higher returns: Alternative investments can offer the potential for higher returns compared to traditional assets. They often involve investing in less efficient markets or specialized niches that can generate above-average profits. However, it’s important to note that higher returns usually come with higher risks, so be sure to do your due diligence.
  • Lower volatility: Some alternative investments, such as real estate or private equity, tend to have lower volatility than the stock market. This can be appealing to investors who want to minimize the ups and downs of their portfolio. If you’re looking for more stability in your investments, alternatives might be the way to go.
  • Protection against inflation: Certain alternative investments, like commodities or inflation-linked bonds, have the potential to hedge against inflation. As the prices of goods and services rise over time, these investments can help preserve your purchasing power. It’s always a good idea to consider inflation when planning for the long term.
  • Access to unique opportunities: Alternative investments give you access to markets and opportunities that are not readily available to individual investors. Whether it’s investing in startups, venture capital, or private debt, these assets can provide exposure to exciting and potentially lucrative ventures. Just remember to thoroughly research and understand the risks involved.

By considering alternative investments, you can diversify your portfolio, potentially increase returns, and protect yourself against market volatility and inflation. It’s essential to consult with a financial advisor or do your own research before making any investment decisions. Remember, each alternative investment comes with its own set of risks and rewards. With the right knowledge

Types of Alternative Investments

Investing is not just about buying stocks and bonds. There are a wide range of alternative investments available that can diversify your portfolio and potentially enhance your returns. Here are some popular types of alternative investments to consider:

1. Real Estate

Investing in real estate provides the opportunity to earn income through rental properties or profit from property value appreciation. It can be done through direct ownership, real estate investment trusts (REITs), or real estate crowdfunding platforms.

2. Hedge Funds

Hedge funds are investment partnerships that pool together funds from multiple investors. They aim to generate high returns by using a variety of strategies, such as long and short positions, leverage, and derivatives. Hedge funds are typically only open to accredited or institutional investors.

3. Private Equity

Private equity involves investing in privately held companies or taking ownership stakes in publicly traded companies with the goal of improving their performance and increasing their value. This type of investment often requires a long-term commitment and is typically available only to high-net-worth individuals and institutional investors.

4. Commodities

Commodities include physical goods like gold, silver, oil, natural gas, and agricultural products. Investing in commodities can be done through futures contracts, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), or by purchasing the physical assets directly. Commodities can provide a hedge against inflation and can be a good diversification tool.

5. Fine Art and Collectibles

Investing in fine art, rare coins, vintage cars, and other collectibles can be an exciting alternative investment. These assets can appreciate in value over time and provide unique enjoyment. However, it’s important to do thorough research and work with reputable dealers or advisors in these specialized markets.

6. Peer-to-Peer Lending

Peer-to-peer lending platforms enable individuals to lend money directly to borrowers, cutting out traditional financial institutions. By diversifying your investments across different loans, you can potentially earn higher returns than traditional fixed-income investments.

7. Cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum have gained significant attention in recent years. Investing in cryptocurrencies can be highly volatile and risky, but it can also offer the potential for significant returns. It’s important to understand the technology, market dynamics, and associated risks before investing

IV. Risks of Alternative Investments

Investing in alternative assets can come with its fair share of risks. While these investments offer the potential for higher returns, it’s important to be aware of the risks involved. Here are some key factors to consider:

The Risk-Return Tradeoff:

Alternative investments often come with higher risks compared to traditional investments like stocks or bonds. It’s crucial to understand that the potential for higher returns goes hand in hand with increased risk. As an investor, you must carefully evaluate your risk tolerance and investment goals before venturing into alternative assets.

Limited Market Liquidity:

Unlike publicly traded stocks or bonds, alternative investments are often less liquid. This means that it may be difficult to buy or sell these assets quickly. Illiquid investments can tie up your capital for an extended period, limiting your ability to access funds when needed. Ensure that you have a diversified portfolio to maintain liquidity and cushion against any potential shortfall.

Complexity and Lack of Transparency:

Alternative investments can be complex and difficult to understand compared to traditional assets. Strategies like hedge funds or private equity involve intricate structures and sophisticated investment techniques. Lack of transparency and detailed information can make it challenging to assess the true value or performance of these investments. Be sure to thoroughly research and seek advice from professionals before investing.

Higher Costs:

Alternative investments often come with higher fees and expenses compared to traditional investments. Private equity funds, for example, may charge management fees and performance fees, which can significantly impact your overall returns. It’s crucial to carefully evaluate the cost structure and understand the potential impact on your investment returns.

Regulatory and Legal Risks:

Alternative investments are subject to different regulatory frameworks and may face legal risks. Some investment strategies may be affected by changes in regulations or face potential legal challenges. As an investor, you need to stay informed about the regulatory landscape and consult with legal experts to mitigate any legal risks associated with your alternative investments.

While these risks may seem daunting, it’s important to remember that with proper due diligence, research, and risk management, alternative investments can be a valuable addition to your investment portfolio. Consider consulting with a financial advisor or seeking guidance from experienced professionals to navigate the complexities of alternative investments.Best Practices for Alternative Investments

When it comes to alternative investments, it’s important to approach them with careful consideration and a well-thought-out strategy. Here are some best practices to keep in mind:

1. Diversify your portfolio

  • Investing in alternative assets can be a great way to diversify your investment portfolio and reduce risk.
  • Consider investing in a mix of different alternative assets, such as real estate, commodities, or private equity, to spread your risk across various sectors.
  • By diversifying, you can potentially increase your chances of achieving better overall returns.

2. Conduct thorough research

  • Before investing in any alternative asset, make sure to conduct thorough research.
  • Understand the fundamentals of the asset class, including its historical performance, market trends, and potential future outlook.
  • Consider consulting with financial professionals or experts who have experience in the specific alternative investment you are considering.
  • Remember, knowledge is power, and the more informed you are, the better equipped you will be to make sound investment decisions.

3. Set clear investment goals

  • Define your investment goals before venturing into alternative investments.
  • Are you looking for long-term growth, income generation, or capital preservation?
  • Understanding your objectives will help you select the right alternative assets that align with your goals.
  • Additionally, having clear goals will allow you to monitor your progress and make adjustments as needed.

4. Evaluate risks and rewards

  • Alternative investments often come with higher risks compared to traditional investments.
  • Take the time to assess the potential risks and rewards associated with each alternative asset.
  • Consider factors such as liquidity, volatility, and regulatory risks.
  • Striking the right

    VI. Resources for Further Reading on Alternative Investments

    So, you’ve read about what alternative investments are, their benefits, types, and risks. You’re intrigued and want to learn more. Well, you’re in luck! There are plenty of resources available to further expand your knowledge on alternative investments. Here are some recommendations to get you started:

    1. Books

    – “The Little Book of Common Sense Investing” by John C. Bogle: This classic book provides an excellent introduction to the world of investing and offers insights into the importance of diversification.
    – “Alternative Investments: CAIA Level I” by Donald R. Chambers, Mark J. P. Anson, and Keith H. Black: This comprehensive guide covers the basics of alternative investments and is a valuable resource for those seeking to obtain the CAIA (Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst) designation.

    2. Online Publications

    – Investopedia ( This popular financial website offers a wealth of information on alternative investments, including articles, tutorials, and videos. It’s a great place to start if you’re new to the topic.
    – The Alternative Investment Analyst Review ( This publication covers a wide range of alternative investment topics and provides in-depth analysis and research reports. It’s a valuable resource for professionals in the field.

    3. Professional Associations

    – Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst Association (CAIA) ( This international organization offers a professional designation for individuals working in the alternative investment industry. Their website provides access to research papers, webinars, and other educational resources.
    – Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA) ( AIMA is a global association for alternative investment managers and service providers. Their website features industry news, publications, and events.

    4. Podcasts

    – “The Meb Faber Show” ( Meb Faber, a renowned author and investor, interviews experts from various fields, including alternative investments.
    – “The Investing City” ( Hosted by Trey Lockerbie, this podcast explores different investment strategies, including alternative investments, through interviews with prominent investors.

    5. Webinars and Online Courses

    – CFA Institute (

    Frequently Asked Questions:

    FAQs about Alternative Investments

    1. What are alternative investments?

    Alternative investments are financial assets that do not fall under the traditional categories of stocks, bonds, or cash. They include a wide range of investments such as real estate, commodities, hedge funds, private equity, venture capital, and more.

    2. Why should I consider alternative investments?

    Alternative investments can potentially offer higher returns, diversify your investment portfolio, and act as a hedge against traditional market risks. They provide opportunities beyond traditional investment options and may aid in reducing overall portfolio volatility.

    3. Are alternative investments suitable for all investors?

    No, alternative investments are generally considered suitable for more experienced and sophisticated investors. They often require a higher level of understanding, have complex structures, limited liquidity, and carry higher risks. It is essential to assess your risk tolerance and seek professional advice before investing in alternatives.