Ins And Outs of Alternative Investments

According to statistics, people who think of investments usually go for stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. However, a whole world of other options are available and offer great potential rewards. These are called alternative investments.

Although many people are not aware of them, alternative investments have been around for a long time. In fact, some of the most successful investors in history have made their fortunes by investing in alternatives.

What Is An Alternative Investment?

So, what exactly are alternative investments?

Alternative investments are any investment that is not a traditional stock, bond, or mutual fund. This includes real estate, hedge funds, private equity, and venture capital.

The main characteristic of alternative investments is that they are not easily traded on public exchanges. This means that they are often less liquid than traditional investments and can be more difficult to value.

Why Invest In Alternatives?

So, why would anyone want to invest in something that is less liquid and more difficult to value?

There are a few reasons.

First, alternative investments often have the potential to provide higher returns than traditional investments. This is because they tend to be less efficient and thus offer more profit opportunities.

Second, alternative investments can help to diversify your portfolio. This is important because it can help to reduce risk.

Third, alternative investments can give you access to opportunities you would not otherwise have. For example, hedge funds often invest in companies that are not publicly traded.

Fourth, alternative investments can offer tax advantages. This is because they are often structured to allow you to defer or avoid taxes on your profits.

What Are The Risks Of Alternative Investments?

Of course, with higher potential returns comes higher risk.

Alternative investments are often more volatile than traditional investments and can lose value quickly. This is why it is essential only to invest money you can afford to lose. You need to find an Alternative Investing Platform that educates you about the risks and offers protection against them.

Another risk is that alternative investments are often less liquid than traditional investments. This means it may be difficult to sell your investment when you want to.

Finally, alternative investments can be more difficult to value than traditional investments. It may be tricky to determine how much your investment is worth.

What Are The Different Types Of Alternative Assets?

Once you understand the basics of alternative investments, it’s time to look at the different types of assets that fall into this category.

Here are some of the most common:

Private Debt and Equity

Private debt and equity refer to investments in companies that are not publicly traded. This includes venture capital, private equity, and hedge funds.

Hedge Funds

A hedge fund is an alternative investment that pools together capital from investors and then invests it in various assets. Hedge funds are often more aggressive than traditional investments and can be more volatile.

Real Estate

Real estate includes both commercial and residential properties. It can be an excellent way to diversify your portfolio and earn income from rent.


Commodities include things like gold, silver, oil, and wheat. They can be an excellent way to hedge against inflation and protect your portfolio from market volatility. Some of the most common commodity investments include precious metals, energy, and agriculture.

Structured Products

Structured products are financial instruments that are created by combining different assets. They can be complex and challenging to understand. For instance, a collateralized mortgage obligation is a type of structured product.

Art and Collectibles

Art and collectibles include paintings, sculptures, vintage cars, and wine. They can be an excellent way to diversify your portfolio and earn income from appreciation. Although, it is essential to remember that art and collectibles can be hard to value.

For instance, if you have a painting that you think is worth $1 million, it may only be worth $500,000 to someone else.

What Are The Best Alternative Investments?

The best alternative investments are the ones that fit your specific goals and objectives.

If you are looking for higher potential returns, you may want to consider something like venture capital or private equity. If you are looking for a way to hedge against inflation, then you may want to consider investing in commodities.

It is important to remember that there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all investment. The best investment for you will depend on your circumstances.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Alternative Investments?

Alternative investments come with both pros and cons.

Some of the biggest pros include:

  • Higher potential returns than traditional investments
  • Diversification benefits
  • Ability to hedge against inflation
  • Potential tax advantages

Some of the biggest cons include:

  • Higher risk than traditional investments
  • Less liquid than traditional investments
  • More difficult to value than traditional investments


Final Words

Before investing in any asset, it is essential to understand the risks and potential rewards. Alternative investments can be a great way to diversify your portfolio and earn higher potential returns. However, they also come with higher stakes. Make sure you understand the pros and cons before making any decisions.

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.