Alternative Investment Examples and Strategies | 2024

Written By Colin Kuehn  |  Retirement 

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Getting into alternative investments can be a great opportunity for investors to get started in the field of finance.

Here are some examples of how you can invest in these kinds of investments.

As always, consult with your financial advisor before making any investment decisions. 

several bars of different precious metals including gold, silver, copper, and platinum

1. Precious Metals

Precious metals haven't really been considered an alternative investment in a historical context, but they've taken a back seat for many investors in recent years with the stock market on a decade-plus tear, and the rise of cryptocurrencies. Precious metals can also fall into the commodities and collectibles categories, which we'll detail below. Investing in precious metals as alternative investments examples is a smart way to diversify your investment portfolio. Many financial advisors recommend that 5 to 10% of your investable assets be allocated to gold and silver. This allocation will help provide some protection against market volatility and economic uncertainty.

While precious metals are often touted as safe havens, investors should be aware of the downsides of this type of investment. Some of the most important things to consider before putting your money in a precious metals investment are the potential financial consequences, the security of the product, and the possibility of a collapse in the market.

One of the most common ways to invest in precious metals is through ETFs. These exchange-traded funds trade just like stocks. They are a convenient way to diversify your investment portfolio, while also gaining leveraged exposure to the metal.

Some ETFs include a bond component, and they can also produce periodic income payments. This is a popular way to diversify your investment portfolio.

Another option for investing in precious metals is through a gold or silver IRA. You can open an IRA account at a bank or brokerage firm. This is an FDIC insured, omnibus account.

Work with a Reputable Company to Purchase Precious Metals

If you're interested in investing in precious metals, it's important to go with a company that is reliable and trustworthy.

Augusta Precious Metals is our top choice - they have industry leading ratings from agencies like the BBB and BCA, and they avoid high pressure sales tactics and scammy gimmicks. 

They're also experts in the IRA and 401k rollover process - learn more with their free precious metals investing kit below:

a street sign that says "private equity" with clouds and grass in the background

2. Private Equity

Investing in alternative investments can provide you with access to unique assets, such as real estate and distressed securities. These investments can offer above-market returns to patient investors. However, it's important to evaluate whether or not they fit your financial situation and tolerance for risk.

There are many different types of alternative investments, including private equity. These investments are not listed on a public stock exchange, but they can still offer high returns. Historically, these investments have been primarily available to institutions and super-wealthy investors. But as the market for alternative investments has grown, retail investors have begun to access them.

Some common alternative investments include hedge funds, venture capital, and private equity. These investment strategies aim to acquire companies, increase technological advancement, and refine product lines.

Private equity is a type of private investment that seeks to buy companies that are not publicly traded. These companies may have not yet had revenues, or they may be in an early stage. The primary goal of private equity is to purchase these companies at a profit, sell them, and return the capital to the investor.

3. Private Debt

Historically low interest rates and strong investor demand have driven private debt funds to become one of the fastest fastest-growing asset classes. These funds offer a variety of investment strategies with attractive risk-adjusted returns. Unlike public investments, private debt is not traded in the open market. Instead, these investments are made through commitments to unlisted private debt funds.

Private debt funds are used to finance various types of companies, including public and private companies, as well as expansion capital. The loans provided by these funds generally have a floating rate. This allows the borrower to hedge against rising interest rates. However, the structure of a loan may also differ, depending on its nature.

Some of the main strategies in the private debt market include venture debt, mezzanine debt, and direct lending. Typically, these funds are priced at a premium to investment-grade debt securities.

The industry has grown rapidly since the Global Financial Crisis (GFC). This growth has led to a doubling of assets over the past decade. These assets are expected to hit $1.2 trillion in 2021 and $2.7 trillion by 2026.

4. Hedge Funds

Among the most common examples of alternative investments are hedge funds. They offer investors an opportunity to take advantage of high returns while minimizing risk. They can also help you manage volatility in the markets. However, investing in these types of investments requires a considerable amount of due diligence.

Hedge funds are private pooled investment funds that are available only to accredited investors. They are often grouped into investment groups that can include up to 35 investors at a time. These investment groups are organized as private investment partnerships. The managers of these funds use a wide range of strategies to maximize returns.

These funds invest in a variety of asset types, including stocks, bonds, commodities, currencies, and real estate. They can offer a higher return than traditional investments, but they are also more susceptible to fraud. They may also be harder to sell.

The best way to invest in alternative investments is to work with a financial advisor. These professionals can help you determine whether or not you qualify for an alternative investment.

a chart over gold bars

5. Commodities 

Besides the traditional stocks and bonds, investors have a variety of other options for investing. They can invest in real estate, commercial properties, and rental yields. In some cases, they can use leverage to their advantage.

A well-placed alternative investment can enhance the portfolio and leave a legacy. It can also help keep you on track through retirement. Using the best alternative investments can also open your eyes to a whole new world. It can help you break into a new industry, fund a tech start-up, or get involved in venture capital.

Choosing the right alternative investments can be a bit of a lottery. However, they have been around for quite some time. In the 1920s, the Chicago Board of Trade began trading commodity futures. It was the first of its kind. Today, you can invest in commodities directly, or via derivatives.

The most important thing to remember when investing in any asset class is to consider the risks and rewards. One of the biggest risks is the lack of liquidity. While there are many alternative investments to choose from, you may not be able to sell them off once you are done with them.

6. Real Estate

Buying a new home may be the biggest financial decision you'll make, but it isn't the only option. In fact, there are several ways to invest in real estate, from buying a condo to flipping a house.

The benefits of investing in real estate go far beyond the tangible items you can buy with your money. For example, your investment will have a positive effect on your long-term tax rate, making it a smart investment for your portfolio.

You can also invest in real estate through direct transactions, or in a joint venture with another investor. This can improve your chance of achieving your goals.

You'll need to do your homework when deciding to invest in alternative investments. For instance, you'll need to decide on your asset classes of interest, and whether you want to take advantage of multiple financing options, or one or two.

Some of these include real estate, commodities, and even currencies. Although the average annual return on these types of investments varies, there are several to choose from.

You can even consider investing in a venture capital fund if you're interested in starting a business. This will be the most risky, but it could lead to some exciting opportunities in the future.

a blond woman next to an inflation guide

7. Collectibles

Investing in collectibles as alternative investments examples is a good way to diversify your portfolio. But, there are several risks associated with it, including counterfeits and illiquidity. You also have to consider the legal structure of these types of investments.

Unlike traditional investments, these assets do not trade in public markets. They also do not offer dividends or income. You must also be able to find a buyer, which can be difficult.

Collectibles are not regulated by a legal entity, so they do not have the same transparency and protections as other asset classes. They can become worthless if damaged or lost. There are also hidden risks, such as tax consequences and negative capital gains taxes.

For example, it can be expensive to maintain and store these items. You can have to pay for a specialized storage room or affordable protection cases.

Collector's insurance is a must for any large collection of rare items. They can also be purchased for smaller collections. This type of investment can be a profitable venture if you have the experience and know how. However, you'll want to ensure that you're getting a buy-back guarantee. Usually, this guarantee is valid for a certain period of time.

investment strategies

Alternative Investment Strategies 

Investing in alternative investment strategies is a great way to achieve diversification in your portfolio. It can also help you avoid market volatility, and reduce overall portfolio volatility. However, there are some risks associated with this type of investment.

For example, it can be difficult to value and sell these assets. Additionally, they may not be publicly traded and have limited liquidity. For these reasons, it is important to perform due diligence on the investment.

Depending on the asset class, an investor may be able to invest in alternative investments through mutual funds or exchange-traded funds. These funds offer different time horizons and risk profiles.

In addition to providing diversification, these investments can also have higher returns. Despite these alluring features, high returns come with a high level of risk. In addition, the fees associated with these assets can be very expensive. It is a good idea to work with an experienced professional who understands the asset class you're interested in.

The performance of an alternative investment can be measured using various ratios, such as the Sharpe ratio and the Treynor ratio. In order to determine the appropriate allocation of funds, it is important to assess your financial objectives and risk tolerance.

Last Updated: December 31, 2023