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2024-03-05 • Updated

Best alternative investments of 2024

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This material does not constitute a call to trade, trading advice or recommendation and is intended for informational purposes only.

What are alternative investments?

Alternative investments go beyond traditional assets like stocks and bonds. These assets include things like private equity, hedge funds, real estate, and cryptocurrencies. Unlike traditional investments, alternative assets are less easily converted to cash and face less regulation, making them less predictable for investors.

In the past, only wealthy and institutional investors played in this field. Now, everyday investors are joining in, looking for a mix of investments to reduce risks, especially during economic changes.

The alternative investment world is growing fast. For example, in 2023, Blackstone managed over $1 trillion in alternative assets. This signals a rising interest in these riskier, longer-term investments.

Why invest in alternative assets?

Investing in alternative assets is gaining popularity as investors aim to diversify their portfolios, chase potentially higher returns, and guard against market uncertainties. The key advantage lies in diversification, with these assets showing minimal ties to traditional stocks and bonds, providing a shield against stock market fluctuations.

This diversification helps cut overall portfolio risk and protects investors from market downturns. Another perk is the potential for higher returns, as investments in private companies or niche sectors can yield substantial profits during favorable conditions.

Additionally, alternative investments act as a buffer against market volatility and inflation due to their low correlation to traditional assets. This makes them immune to short-term market swings, and some, like real estate or commodities, can even gain value with rising prices, countering inflation.

Nonetheless, it’s crucial to acknowledge the risks involved, including lower liquidity, complex structures, higher fees, and less regulatory oversight than traditional investments.

Different alternative investment types

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Alternative investments encompass various asset classes with distinct characteristics. In this overview, we’ll look at seven main types and explain what makes each of them unique.

Private Equity is a category that covers investments in companies not listed on the stock market. This includes investing in new businesses (venture capital), helping existing businesses grow (growth capital), and buying entire companies.

Private Debt is different from regular debt that is traded on the stock market. It involves investing in debt instruments for companies that aren’t banks. For example, a renewable energy company might issue private bonds to raise money for its growth.

Hedge Funds are special funds that use different strategies to try to make high returns. These funds are usually only available to rich individuals and big institutional investors. They might use various tactics, like buying and selling stocks quickly, betting on market movements, or using complex mathematical approaches.

Real Estate is a common and important type of investment that involves putting money into properties like office buildings or residential complexes. Real estate can provide a steady income from rent payments and also potentially increase in value over time.

Commodities involve trading natural resources like agricultural products, oil, natural gas, and metals. Historically, commodities have served as inflation hedges and are influenced by supply and demand dynamics.

Collectibles include investing in unique items like rare wines, vintage cars, fine art, and sports memorabilia. Investing in collectibles requires knowledge about specific areas and comes with risks like high costs to acquire these items and the potential for loss if they’re not properly taken care of.

Structured Products are financial products that involve fixed-income markets and derivatives. Examples include credit default swaps and collateralized debt obligations.

How to Find Alternative Investments in 2024?

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When looking for the best alternative investments, it’s important to use a mix of strategies and take proactive steps. However, understanding private markets can be challenging. To overcome this, we recommend you actively participate in industry events, forums, and discussions. If you’re looking into specific areas like art trading, it’s crucial to become an expert or seek advice. Consider attending art fairs, exhibitions, and auctions to gain firsthand experience.

In other alternative investments like real estate, private equity, and hedge funds, data analytics plays a crucial role. Gathering and analyzing data, such as startup performance and funding rounds, is essential for venture capital firms looking for promising companies.

For those new to alternative investments, seeking advice from experienced individuals might come in handy. Consult with financial advisors or firms specializing in these markets for valuable guidance.

Advantages of alternative investment assets

Alternative investments are gaining popularity in 2024 for their diversification benefits. Unlike regular stocks and bonds, alternative assets behave differently and may offer higher returns. Private equity allows investors to benefit from private company growth, while real estate can generate rental income and capital appreciation.

Additionally, alternative investments can provide tax benefits for long-term wealth accumulation. They also offer unique opportunities like art, collectibles, or cryptocurrencies, providing personal satisfaction and financial potential. Real estate and commodities within these investments can act as a hedge against inflation, maintaining value as living costs rise.

Another appealing aspect is impact investing. This approach enables investors to harmonize their portfolios with their ethical values by emphasizing positive social and environmental impacts alongside financial returns. Also, investors gain stable returns from essential infrastructure investments like roads and airports.

However, it’s crucial to note that these benefits come with risks. Alternative investments often involve higher fees, greater risk, and less liquidity than traditional assets.

Disadvantages of alternative investment assets

When looking at different investments in 2024, it’s important to know their downsides. These investments can be hard to sell quickly, and they might have higher fees than regular ones. Some, like collectibles, may need special storage, adding to the cost. They can also be complicated, leading to confusing tax and reporting requirements.

Also, alternative investments may face problems with rules and transparency. There’s less supervision; therefore, these types of assets may be more vulnerable to fraudulent activities. Therefore, it’s crucial to diversify, do thorough research, and get advice from financial experts.

How to invest in alternative assets

Investing in alternative assets requires careful consideration and strategic planning. Here are 7 steps that can make the process go smoother.

  1. Define Investment Objectives and Risk Tolerance:

    Investing in alternative assets begins by clearly understanding your investment objectives and risk tolerance. This foundational step is vital to aligning investment choices with financial goals.

  2. Conduct In-Depth Research and Due Diligence:

    After clarifying goals and risk tolerance, the next step involves comprehensive research. Gather information on various investment alternatives and specific risks associated with each type.

  3. Seek Professional Advice:

    Given the complexity of alternative assets, professional advice is crucial. Financial advisors or investment professionals can offer valuable insights into market trends, asset valuation, and effective portfolio strategies.

  4. Understand Accreditation Requirements:

    Accreditation may be necessary for certain alternative investments, especially hedge funds or private equity investments. Understanding legal requirements is an integral part of the process.

  5. Make Investments:

    The next important step is to make investments, which can include direct investments in physical assets, purchasing shares in funds, or using online investment platforms.

  6. Implement Ongoing Management and Review:

    Ongoing management and periodic review of investments are equally important. Alternative investments generally require staying informed about market trends and adjusting strategies as needed.

  7. Develop an Exit Strategy:

    Finally, having an exit strategy is critical, particularly considering the often lower liquidity of alternative investments. Plan when and how to exit assets, taking into account market conditions and investment timing.

What are the best alternative assets to invest in?

Alternative investments offer several intriguing options for investors. Based on recent trends and analysis, here are the best alternative investments to consider.

1. Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum continue to attract attention due to their potential high returns, even though they are known for increased volatility. Their underlying blockchain technology provides secure and transparent transactions, making them a unique investment choice.

As the most famous example of alternative investments, looking at Bitcoin in detail makes sense.

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Bitcoin’s 2024 outlook is positive, with the halving event and potential approval of US Bitcoin ETFs expected to boost its price to around $160,000.

The second most popular cryptocurrency is Ethereum.

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Expected technological updates, like the Dencun update, could improve scalability and lower transaction fees, potentially boosting economic activity. Analysts predict Ethereum’s price to range between $5,000 and $15,000, driven by factors such as the ETH burn mechanism and potential approval of a spot Ethereum ETF.

2. Farmland is a growing alternative investment, providing steady growth and serving as a hedge against inflation. Online platforms make it easier for investors to access farmland without direct management.

3. Investing in collectibles, such as rare stamps and coins, offers personal enjoyment and financial opportunities. The value is determined by rarity, condition, historical significance, and collector demand.

4. Commodities like precious metals and energy resources diversify portfolios and hedge against inflation. Brent crude oil prices are influenced by global economic conditions, geopolitical tensions, and OPEC+ production strategies. Analysts predict prices to fluctuate between $70 and $93 per barrel.

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5. Tax liens involve buying liens on real estate for unpaid taxes, potentially offering high yields and the chance to purchase real estate. However, it requires careful research and an understanding of local laws.

Each of these alternative investments has its pros and cons. While they offer high returns and portfolio diversification, they often carry higher fees and lack the liquidity of traditional stocks and bonds.

FAQ

What is the future of alternative investments?

The future sees a shift towards diversification, emphasizing unlisted assets like private equity, property funds, venture capital, and infrastructure. This responds to the shrinking IPO market, with a notable focus on stable alternatives like commercial real estate debt. Despite challenges, residential property remains a preferred long-term investment.

What is the most popular alternative investment?

Art is a leading alternative investment, valued at $579.52 billion, driven by limited availability and rising demand. Platforms offering fractional ownership make art more accessible. Real estate also remains popular, representing a significant share of an average millionaire’s assets.

What is the safest and most profitable investment?

In the current economic climate, a balanced mix of low and higher-risk investments is recommended. Safe options include high-yield savings accounts and Treasury bonds for security with modest returns. Growth-oriented investors can consider dividend-paying and preferred stocks, balancing risk and returns for long-term growth opportunities.

Conclusion

In finance, alternative investments like digital currencies and private equity represent a shift in how people invest, offering new opportunities. As these options gain popularity, they challenge traditional ideas and require investors to understand and manage risks. It’s a time when being flexible and making informed decisions is really important in dealing with the challenges of today’s financial opportunities.

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