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Alternative Investments

Creating a portfolio that goes beyond the traditional 60/40 allocation by incorporating alternative investments can offer accredited investors, qualified clients, and qualified purchasers the potential for enhanced diversification and risk-adjusted returns. Alternative investments are non-traditional assets, including hedge funds, private equity, real estate, commodities, etc. These investments can provide exposure to different market factors and strategies that may not be correlated with traditional stocks and bonds.

Here's a step-by-step approach to constructing a portfolio using alternative investments for qualified clients:

  1. Client AssessmentUnderstand your client's financial goals, risk tolerance, time horizon, and investment preferences. Ensure they meet the criteria to be considered an accredited investor (AI), qualified client (QC), or qualified purchaser (QP) as defined by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
  2. Asset Allocation Strategy: Determine the appropriate allocation to alternative investments based on the client's goals, risk and liquidity tolerance. This may involve adjusting the traditional 60/40 allocation to incorporate alternatives.
  3. Selection of Alternative Investments: Choose alternative investments that align with the client's goals and risk profile. Common alternative options include:
      • Hedge Funds: These can employ various strategies, such as long-short, global macro, and event-driven, to achieve returns uncorrelated with the broader market.
      • Private Equity: Invest in privately-held companies, which can provide long-term growth potential but may have limited liquidity.
      • Real Estate: Include direct property investments or real estate investment trusts (REITs).
      • Infrastructure: Investments in essential facilities such as transportation, energy, and utilities.
      • Private Debt: Investments in non-public debt instruments, such as mezzanine loans or distressed debt, offering potentially higher yields.
  4. Risk Management: Be aware that alternative investments can come with higher risks and lower liquidity compared to traditional assets. Diversify within the alternative allocation to mitigate risks and consider the potential illiquidity of certain investments.
  5. Due Diligence: Thoroughly research each chosen alternative investment, considering the fund manager's track record, strategy, fees, and risk factors. Assess the investment's alignment with the client's overall portfolio.
  6. Documentation and Compliance: Ensure compliance with all regulatory requirements when considering alternative investments to qualified clients. This might involve proper disclosure of risks, fees, and investment strategy.
  7. Regular Review and Rebalancing: Monitor the performance of the alternative investments and the overall portfolio regularly. Rebalance the portfolio as needed to maintain the desired asset allocation and risk profile.
  8. Communication: Keep open communication with the client, explaining the benefits and risks of the chosen alternative investments and how they fit into the client's broader financial strategy.

It's necessary to note that while alternative investments can offer diversification benefits, they also come with their own set of risks, including regulatory, liquidity, and operational risks. As such, conducting a client risk tolerance, liquidity stress test, and due diligence is crucial before incorporating alternative investments into a portfolio. The following backdrop and qualification factors are fundamental to considering this asset class.

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