Alternatives

Buffered ETFs are seeing explosive growth. The category had less than $200 million in assets and now has $36.7 billion. The major appeal is that they allow investors to remain fully invested while offering downside protection. 

However, they do tend to have higher costs and may not be appropriate for many investors. Buffered ETFs follow a benchmark while also using stock options to limit downside risk and capping gains on the upside. 

These products are modeled after structured notes, which have proven to be popular among high net worth and institutional investors. Like structured notes, buffered ETFs follow some sort of lifecycle, which means that advisors and investors have to consider market conditions when making a decision. This means they are not appropriate for rebalancing or dollar cost averaging strategies. An important consideration is the start date of the buffer ETF and the performance of the underlying index since the start date, as this could affect the value and desirability of the buffer.

According to Jeff Schwartz, president at the investment analytics firm Markov Processes International, “There is a lot to understand with buffer ETFs, and the history of structured products shows that both advisors and investors often do not fully understand the nuance of these vehicles." 


Finsum: Buffered ETFs are experiencing a surge in growth. The upside is that they allow investors to remain fully invested while capping the downside. However, there are also some downsides to consider.   

KKR recently shared its growth strategy for alternative investments geared towards wealthy individual investors. Initially, it plans to offer products focused on private credit, private equity, infrastructure, and real estate and aims to distribute them through financial advisors. The firm has noted strong interest from wealth managers and registered investment advisors. It believes that its 48 years of experience in the space and strong legacy will differentiate KKR from its competitors.

According to Eric Mogelof, KKR’s head of Global Client Solutions, “Private wealth is a transformational opportunity for KKR. Private wealth is large, it’s growing quickly, and importantly, allocations to alternatives in this space are only going in one direction, and that is up.” KKR sees alternatives accounting for 6% of the private wealth market by 2027, a sharp increase from its 2% share in 2022. 

This series of products will offer qualified investors the same type of access as institutional clients without any additional fees. KKR also believes that these products will be more liquid than competing alternatives. The firm also sees momentum to offer even more alternative product types in the near future. This is in response to their conversations with advisors, banks, wirehouses, and brokers, who have found that allocations to alternatives are increasing. 


Finsum: KKR sees a big opportunity in alternative investments and is launching a suite of products. It hopes to target wealthy investors through financial advisors. 

 

Over the last decade, private credit has boomed, growing from $435 billion to $1.7 trillion. One consequence of this has been a growing marketplace for private credit secondaries. Currently, the private credit secondary market is estimated to be worth $30 billion, but it’s forecast to exceed $50 billion by 2027.

The secondary market is where private credit investors can sell their stake early. It’s natural that as allocations to private credit have increased, there is now a need for liquidity, which is provided through the secondary market. Most of it is driven by investors looking to rebalance their holdings. Another benefit is that it can potentially provide diversification to private credit investors. Some managers are now fundraising for funds dedicated to the private credit secondary market, such as Apollo Global Management and Pantheon.

There is also an analogue between the private equity secondary market and the private credit secondary market. Although the private equity secondary market is more mature and larger at $100 billion, with many more established funds in the space. According to Craig Bergstrom, managing partner and CIO of Corbin Capital Partners, “I don't think private credit secondaries will ever get to be as big as private equity secondaries. And I don't think they'll even get to be as large as private credit is in proportion to private equity because the duration is shorter.”


Finsum: A consequence of the boom in private credit is a growing and active market for secondaries. It’s evolving similarly to the secondary market in private equity and is forecast to exceed $50 billion by 2027.

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