Alternatives

Alternative investing, which includes assets like private equity, real estate, and hedge funds, is becoming more accessible beyond just the ultra-wealthy and institutions. These investments can enhance portfolio diversification and potentially mitigate risk due to their low correlation with public markets. 

 

Utilizing self-directed IRAs for alternative investments offers the added benefit of tax-free growth. The popularity of alternative assets is rising, with private market assets growing significantly and individual investors currently holding a small percentage of these assets. 

 

Diversifying with alternatives can help manage market risk, especially during volatile times. New investment platforms are making it easier to access alternative investments, allowing for a more customized and balanced portfolio approach.

 

Over the past twenty years, alternative investment strategies like hedge funds, private equity, and real estate have grown in popularity among investors seeking diversification and steady returns. This trend was initially driven by the low-yield environment post-2009 financial crisis, making alternatives attractive due to their higher yields and low correlation with public markets. 

 

However, the landscape shifted post-2021 with rising inflation and interest rates, as well as increased geopolitical tensions, challenging traditional investment approaches. Hedge funds have gained renewed relevance, offering uncorrelated returns amid market volatility. 

 

Similarly, private credit has thrived, benefiting from the retreat of large banks from direct lending and providing attractive yields and diversification. Despite rising interest rates, alternatives with lock-up periods continue to outperform public markets, supporting a balanced, blended investment strategy for consistent returns.


Finsum: Remember the real advantage to alts is their uncorrelated returns and more specifically uncorrelated volatility to traditional markets.

The term beta represents an investment’s volatility relative to the overall market and is a concept that experienced investors understand well. Beta measures the sensitivity of an investment to overall market movements and is a measure of systematic risk, with the market typically represented by a broad index like the S&P 500. 

 

High beta stocks exhibit more volatility and are typically growth stocks, while low beta stocks are less volatile and often include value stocks in defensive sectors. But this approach should be used when thinking about alternatives because they are being used to balance a portfolio.

 

Beta can change over time due to economic conditions and changes in a company's operations or industry. When assessing alternative investments, combining beta with correlation provides insight into an investment's potential role in a portfolio, enhancing diversification and risk management.


Finsum: You don’t need complicated financial models to assess beta, and integrating this historical return factor could greatly improve portfolio performance. 

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