Alternative investments are becoming more and more popular as people seek to diversify their portfolios. But what are they, and should you invest in them?
Alternative investments are usually defined as anything other than stocks, bonds, and cash. That includes things like hedge funds, venture capital, private equity, real estate, and commodities. These investments have been well-liked by institutional or high net worth investors and are starting to make their way into the portfolios of retail investors.
Before making any decisions, it’s important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of alternative investments. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons:
Pros of Alternative Investments
As we know diversification is the key to any good investment portfolio, and alternative assets can help achieve that. By including these assets in your portfolio, you can further diversify and reduce overall risk. This means that if one asset class takes a hit, a portfolio as a whole will be less affected.
- Higher Returns
Another advantage of alternative investments is that they have the potential to generate higher returns than traditional assets. This is because they tend to be less correlated with the stock market, which means they are not as impacted by market fluctuations. There are also riskier investments that give above-average returns to compensate for the added risk.
- May Not Correlate With The Stock Market
The stock market is always fluctuating, and it can be difficult to predict what will happen next. Alternative investments may not correlate with the stock market, which means they could potentially go up even when the stock market is going down. This non-correlation can help to diversify a portfolio and protect it from market volatility.
- Tax Advantages
Some alternative investments offer tax advantages that you may not find with other assets. For example, certain types of real estate investing can offer you the opportunity to write off certain expenses come tax time. This means you could potentially save money on your taxes by investing in certain real estate alternative asset classes.
Cons of Alternative Investments
- Less Liquidity
One of the biggest disadvantages of alternative investments is that they tend to be less liquid than traditional assets. This means it can be more difficult and time-consuming to sell your investment and get your money out. When it comes to stocks or bonds, you can usually sell them relatively quickly and get your money within a few days.
- Higher Fees
Another downside of alternative investments is that they often come with higher fees than traditional assets. For example, you may have to pay a higher management fee to invest in a hedge fund. This is because these types of investments are often more complex and require more work on the part of the manager.
- Not Suitable For Everyone
Alternative investments are not suitable for everyone. If you are risk-averse or do not have a lot of money to invest, then these types of investments may not be right for you.
Before investing in any type of asset, it’s important to understand your risk tolerance and financial goals. In addition, these types of investments require more research and prior knowledge to make informed decisions.
- Less Transparency Than Traditional Investments
Alternative investments also tend to be less transparent than traditional investments. This means it can be more difficult to track your investment and understand what is happening with your money.
For example, hedge funds are not required to disclose their holdings or strategies to the public. This lack of transparency can make it more difficult to understand what you are investing in and how your money is being used.
Overall, alternative investments can be a great way to diversify your portfolio and potentially generate higher returns. However, it’s important to understand the risks involved before making any decisions. These types of investments may not be suitable for everyone and come with higher fees and less liquidity. It is important to research and come up with a well-informed investment plan before moving forward.