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Glossary

What are alternative assets?

Alternative assets, which include any non-publicly traded assets (private market alternatives), are financial assets that do not fall into conventional investment categories: stocks, bonds, or cash.

And they may be an option answer for more robust returns than public markets alone can offer.

Alternative assets can help build a diversified portfolio, may work well for those with longer investment time horizons, and have demonstrated strong performances in recent decades.

There is a wealth of alternative assets to explore:

  • Venture capital
  • Private equity
  • Real estate, including farmland
  • Loans
  • Digital assets
  • Commodities
  • Infrastructure
  • Fine art
  • Collectibles
  • Fine wine and rare spirits

While alternative assets have the potential to yield high returns, they have long been largely limited in availability to institutional investors and high net-worth individuals. That’s because institutions and extremely wealthy individuals have significantly more resources and risk insulation and because investing in alternative assets has historically been a time-consuming, complicated, and expensive process.

Nowadays, these barriers are being lowered, and sophisticated individual investors can now use IRA savings to invest in these assets.

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Explore more terms

Alternative investment funds

Securities and exchange commission

Self-directed Roth IRA