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Why Alternatives Should Be Part of Your Investment Portfolio


Ketan Bhalla   July 07, 2016

When individuals think of their investment portfolio, they tend to think of more traditional asset classes: fixed income (bonds) and equities (stocks).   Historically, individual investors have not had easy access to alternative asset classes, such as hedge funds, real estate, private equity or venture capital.  However, with the emergence of online investment platforms and the rapid advancement in the fintech industry, many alternative asset classes are now available to accredited investors at manageable minimums, allowing them to further diversify and potentially enhance their investment portfolio.  The next obvious question is: why invest in alternative asset classes in the first place?

Portfolio Diversification – what does it all mean?

By diversifying your portfolio across different types of investments, you hope to primarily do two things: a) protect yourself during market downturns and b) participate in positive markets while taking less overall risk.  Said differently, diversification should lead to lower volatility for your overall investment portfolio.  Lower volatility is important because, all else being equal, it allows your portfolio to compound more quickly over time and could have a significant impact on the cumulative return of your portfolio.  Frankly, it also helps from a “peace of mind” perspective – not having your investments rise and fall rapidly in conjunction with major market swings may give you more conviction to stick with your investment strategy over the long term.  Think about it in the context of having “many eggs in many baskets”.