5 Alternative Investments Every Investor Should Know

When it comes to investment, the choice of opportunities is largely restricted. Besides stocks, bonds, exchange-traded funds, and other pre-packaged products, there is a multitude of alternative investment vehicles that you should know about.

Talking about alternative investments, they include private equity, venture capital, real estate investment trusts, hedge funds, commodities as well as real assets, including wine, metals, rare coins, and art. These assets may be difficult to value and are generally more illiquid (not converted into cash easily) than traditional investments.

Listed below are the five alternative investments that every investor should know.

  • Private Equity: These days, there are more private companies than public companies, and many of them take on investor capital. For those who don’t know, private equity is a broad term that includes the private capital markets, and different private equity firms specialize in multiple investment strategies. Private equity is a general classification that includes the investment in start-ups and throughout phases of a company’s growth.
  • Direct Investments: Investors can directly invest in start-ups and private companies. Investing seed capital directly in start-ups is sometimes referred to as angel investing. For investors, this is a high risk and high return strategy as many start-ups end up failing. Having observed that a private company will seek investors through a private placement.
  • Venture Capital: It can be defined as the subset of private equity specializing in the investment in early-stage to growth-stage companies. Firms will specialize in early-stage investing, raising funds from institutional capital and deploying them to companies engaged in funding stages.
  • Real Assets: Real assets have intrinsic value and these kinds of assets include oil, real estate, precious metal commodities, and agriculture land. Luxury and collectible goods including wine, art, jewelry, rare coins, and baseball cards also fall into this category.
  • Hedge Funds: These are pooled investment funds that are formed to invest in different strategies and asset types. Distressed assets, equity long-short, arbitrage, and macro-trends are some of the common hedge fund strategies.

Among these types of investments, some aren’t yet available to retail investors. It is important for you to check them out first before you actually start investing.

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