November 01st - 3 minutes to read

What are Alternative Investments?

Learn more about alternative investments and if they’re right for you.

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In today’s dynamic financial landscape, investors are increasingly seeking opportunities beyond traditional investments. Still, whether you’ve already started building your portfolio or are just beginning your financial journey, you may find yourself asking: what are alternative investments? Keep reading to discover what they are, their types, and how they may benefit you.

Understanding Alternative Investments

“Alternative investments” is a broad term that encompasses various investment strategies. Essentially, alternative investments are investments that lie outside the traditional categories of stocks, bonds, and cash. Two of the biggest differences between alternative and traditional investments are that alternative assets can’t be traded on public markets and are harder to sell or convert into cash.

Types of Alternative Investments

Alternative investments are a diverse asset class, meaning they offer a wider range of opportunities and are great diversification tools. Each alternative investment type boasts a distinct risk and return profile. This makes it relatively easy to ensure you’re crafting a portfolio that aligns with your overall financial goals and tolerances. While there are many out there, some of the most common types of alternative investments include:

  • Real Estate
  • Private Equity Investments
  • Private Debt
  • Hedge Funds
  • Collectibles
  • Cryptocurrencies
  • Commodities

Should You Consider Alternative Investments?

When contemplating whether to venture into alternative investments, it’s crucial to recognize that, like traditional assets, they come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages. As a result, it’s essential to conduct thorough due diligence to determine if it’s a smart idea for your financial situation. Here are some pros and cons you’ll want to consider before investing.


Alternative investments offer a range of benefits, including:

  • Potential for Higher Returns: Many alternative assets, such as private equity, venture capital, and real estate, have historically delivered strong returns, often outperforming traditional investments.
  • Hedge Against Inflation
  • Low Correlation: May have low correlation with traditional investments, meaning they can perform differently during market volatility.
  • Access to Diverse Markets: Grant access to a wide range of markets and assets not readily available through traditional means, allowing for more flexibility and personal interest.


Some disadvantages of alternative investments include:

  • Higher Fees and Minimum Investments: Private equity firms and hedge funds often charge substantial management fees and require significant minimum investments. This exclusivity limits access for all but institutional investors and high-net-worth individuals.
  • Limited liquidity: Many cannot be easily converted into cash, which can be problematic if you need to access your funds quickly.
  • Can’t be Publicly Traded
  • Lack of Regulation: Operate with less oversight and regulation compared to traditional assets. While this can provide flexibility, it also exposes investors to higher risk and potential fraud.

Investment Management Experts in Columbus, OH

Not sure if alternative investments are the right move for you? One move you can be sure of is partnering with a financial advisor.

Royal Oak Financial Group has a team of financial professionals ready to help grow your portfolio and ensure your investments align with your financial situation and life circumstances. Contact us today to learn more about our investment management services.