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What are alternative assets?

Alternative assets, or alternative investments, are financial assets that are not considered “conventional”. Conventional financial asset categories include stocks, bonds, and cash. Some examples of alternative investments include commodities, cryptocurrency, blockchain investments, private equity/venture capital, hedge fund investments, derivatives, and art. Most markets for alternative investments lack a solidified legal structure as strong as that of markets for conventional assets, and some tend to be illiquid. Due to their complex nature, decreased regulation, and therefore higher risk, alternative investments are mostly held by institutions or “accredited” investors. Held in regular portfolios, alternative investments provide the opportunity for diversification, and reduction of concentration risk. Many alternative assets are also known to work as a hedge against inflation.