How to Incorporate Alternative Investments in Your Portfolio

Last Updated on June 5, 2023

Alternative investments are any type of investment that is not a traditional stock, bond or cash holding. It is smart to incorporate alternative investments, like real estate, commodities, hedge funds, or private equity, beyond traditional stocks or bonds for potential higher returns, despite higher risk and lower liquidity.”

Investing is a great way to make your money grow, but it’s not always easy to know where to put your money. Traditional investments like stocks and bonds are popular, but they may not always be the best option for everyone. That’s where alternative investments come in.

Incorporating alternative investments into your portfolio can help diversify your holdings and reduce risk. Traditional investments tend to move in the same direction at the same time, but alternative investments can behave differently. They also offer the potential for a higher return, which can help grow your portfolio over time.

How to Incorporate Alternative Investments in Your Portfolio

In this blog post, we will discuss how to incorporate alternative investments into your portfolio. We’ll cover the different types of alternative investments available, how to evaluate them, and strategies for building a diversified portfolio that includes both traditional and alternative investments. By the end of the post, you should have a better understanding of how to incorporate alternative investments into your investment strategy.

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Types of Alternative Investments

When it comes to investing, diversification is a key factor in building a strong portfolio. Traditional investments such as stocks and bonds are great, but alternative investments can offer a way to add diversity and unique benefits to your portfolio. Here are five types of alternative investments to consider:

Real Estate

  • Real estate is a tangible asset that offers the potential for both income and appreciation.

  • Investors can purchase physical property or buy shares in a real estate investment trust (REIT).

  • Properties can be rented out for steady rental income or flipped for profit.


  • Commodities are tangible goods that are traded on the market, such as oil, gold, and crops.

  • Investors can buy shares in a commodity ETF or invest in physical commodities through futures contracts.

  • Commodities can protect against inflation and offer diversification from stock market fluctuations.

Hedge Funds

  • Hedge funds are alternative investment vehicles that use a variety of strategies to generate returns.

  • They are typically only available to accredited investors due to their high minimum investment requirements.

  • Hedge funds can offer the potential for high returns, but also carry high fees and risk.

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Private Equity

  • Private equity involves investing in privately held companies through buyouts, growth capital, or venture capital.

  • Investors can see above-average returns, but the investments are illiquid and require a long-term commitment.

  • Private equity is typically only available to accredited investors due to its high minimum investment requirements.


  • Cryptocurrencies are digital assets that use blockchain technology to secure and verify transactions.

  • Investors can buy and trade cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum on exchanges.

  • Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile and speculative, but offer potential for high returns.

Alternative investments can offer a way to add diversity and unique benefits to your portfolio. However, it’s important to fully understand the risks and potential rewards before investing. Consider consulting with a financial advisor before making any investment decisions.

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Advantages of Alternative Investments

As investors, we are all aware that diversification is key to managing risk and achieving our long-term goals. One of the best ways to achieve this is by incorporating alternative investments into our portfolios. Here are some of the advantages of alternative investments:


  • Alternative investments are not correlated to traditional asset classes like stocks and bonds, providing diversification to our portfolios.

  • They are also a great tool for portfolio rebalancing as they tend to perform differently under different market conditions.

  • Investments such as private equity, real estate, and hedge funds can offer exposure to new markets and industries, further diversifying our portfolios.

Potential for Higher Returns

  • Alternative investments offer the potential for higher returns as they are not subject to the same market forces as traditional investments.

  • For example, private equity and venture capital investments can offer returns in excess of 20% or more if invested wisely.

  • Real estate investments can provide both income and capital appreciation, again offering the potential for higher returns.

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Reduced Volatility

  • Alternative investments tend to be less volatile than traditional investments, providing more stability to our portfolios.

  • Hedge funds, for example, use a variety of strategies to reduce market risk and volatility, offering smoother returns for investors.

  • Real estate investments are also less volatile than stocks and bonds and tend to perform well in both good and bad economic times.

Protection against Inflation

  • Alternative investments can provide protection against inflation as they are often tied to tangible assets that can appreciate in value over time.

  • For instance, real estate investments can offer protection against inflation as property values tend to rise over time.

  • Other alternative investments, such as commodities, can also act as a hedge against inflation by providing exposure to natural resources that increase in value with inflation.

In fact, alternative investments play an important role in portfolio diversification by providing exposure to new markets and industries that traditional investments may not offer. They offer the potential for higher returns, reduced volatility, and protection against inflation, all of which can help us achieve our long-term investment goals.

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Risks Involved with Alternative Investments

Investors looking to diversify their portfolios may consider alternative investments such as private equity, real estate, hedge funds, or commodities. However, these investments come with unique risks that investors should be aware of before investing their money.


One of the key risks associated with alternative investments is illiquidity. Unlike traditional investments, alternative investments are often not traded on public markets. Investors may face difficulty in selling their investments when they need cash, as there may not be active buyers on the market. Illiquidity can also increase the risk of losing money as investors are unable to exit their investments if there is a sudden decline in the market.

Lack of Regulation

Alternative investments are not subject to the same regulatory oversight as traditional investments. This lack of regulation can expose investors to fraud and other risks. Before investing in an alternative investment, investors should research the investment firm and ensure they are registered with the appropriate regulators.

High Fees

Alternative investments often come with high fees compared to traditional investments. These fees include performance fees and management fees. As an investor, it is important to understand the fee structure of an investment before investing. High fees can erode investment returns and reduce the overall value of the portfolio.

Changes in Laws and Regulations

The laws and regulations surrounding alternative investments can change over time, which can affect the returns and liquidity of these investments. Investors should stay up-to-date on any changes in laws and regulations that may affect their investments. These changes may also affect the tax treatment of alternative investments, which can impact the overall return on investment.

While diversifying your portfolio with alternative investments can be attractive, it is important to understand the risks associated with these investments. Illiquidity, lack of regulation, high fees, and changes in laws and regulations are some of the key risks investors should be aware of before investing in alternative investments.

Before investing, investors should conduct thorough research and seek advice from a financial professional to ensure they are making informed investment decisions that align with their financial goals.

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How to Incorporate Alternative Investments in Your Portfolio

Investors are always looking for ways to diversify their portfolios and maximize returns. Alternative investments, such as real estate, hedge funds, and private equity, are becoming increasingly popular among investors. Here are some steps to incorporate these alternative investments into your portfolio:

1. Determine Your Investment Goals

Before adding alternative investments to your portfolio, you need to identify your investment goals. Are you looking for high returns or stable income? Do you want to invest for the long term or the short term? Answering these questions will help you choose the types of alternative investments that best suit your portfolio.

2. Evaluate Risk Tolerance

Alternative investments can be riskier than traditional investments. You need to assess your risk tolerance before investing in alternatives. High-risk investments may offer bigger returns, but they also come with a higher chance of losing money. Understanding your risk tolerance will help you choose the appropriate alternative investments.

Read: How to Analyze Stocks for Investment

3. Research and Choose the Appropriate Alternative Investments

Researching alternative investments can be overwhelming, but it’s essential to choose the right options for your portfolio. Consider the types of alternative investments available, their risks and rewards, and their suitability for your investment goals and risk tolerance. Real estate, for example, can offer a stable income stream with the potential for capital appreciation, while private equity can offer high returns, but with higher risk.

4. Monitor and Adjust the Portfolio as Needed

Investing in alternatives requires diligence and monitoring. You need to keep an eye on the performance of your alternative investments and adjust your portfolio as needed. For example, if a property is not generating the expected returns, you may need to re-evaluate your investment and make changes to your portfolio.

Incorporating alternative investments into your portfolio can offer a range of benefits. Diversification can reduce risk and boost returns, while unique investment opportunities can provide lucrative returns. Nevertheless, alternative investments are not for everyone. It’s important to evaluate your investment goals and risk tolerance before making any investment decisions. With the right research and diligence, alternative investments can offer a valuable addition to your portfolio.

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After understanding the benefits of incorporating alternative investments in your portfolio, it is clear that these investments offer unique opportunities to investors. Not only do they provide diversification, but they also offer the potential for higher returns.

Recapitulating, alternative investments include real estate, private equity, hedge funds, and commodities. These investments offer low correlation to traditional investments, which can help reduce portfolio volatility and risk.

However, it is essential to take the time to do the necessary research and understand the risks associated with these investments before committing. It is crucial to seek professional advice before investing in alternative investments.

Finally, alternative investments are not suitable for every investor, and portfolios must be tailored to each individual’s financial goals and risk tolerance. However, for investors who are willing to take on additional risk, alternative investments can be an excellent addition to a diversified portfolio.

Read: Growth Investing: What is it and How to Start?

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