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Alternatives Among the Alternatives

  • ,  Chief Executive |
  • 08 Apr 2021
  • Updated 13 Apr 2021

Separating the Wheat from the Chaff?

Alternative asset investing means different things to different investors. For many, these assets typically include real estate, venture capital, or private equity. Others may consider the less conventional such as cryptocurrency, catastrophe bonds, insurance-linked securities, or farmland.

Such assets often exhibit diversifying characteristics where risks and returns tend to be less correlated with mainstream market returns of equities and bonds, for example. This blog features papers on conventional alternatives like commodities and infrastructure, while also devoting space to some of the alternative alternatives, too.


alternatives investing wheat from chaff


Commodities: A powerful inflation hedge (NN IP, Mar 2021)

NN Investment Partners suggests that commodities are likely to play an integral part in most investors’ portfolios, particularly as a hedge against inflation.

Gold, Commodities and Reflation (World Gold Council, 2021)

For compliance reasons, this paper is only accessible in certain geographies

World Gold Council’s Senior Quantitative Analyst, Johan Palmberg, investigates the current commodity rally and gives it historical context.

Bitcoin: On the edge of becoming mainstream? (WisdomTree Investments, Apr 2021)

For compliance reasons, this paper is only accessible in the UK & Europe

WisdomTree Investments discusses whether the growing bitcoin interest by institutional investors is going to be a catalyst that pushes the asset into the mainstream.

Bitcoin: The promethean bubble (Man Group, 2021)

Man Group explores the five bubbles that have already occurred in bitcoin.

Real and Alternative Assets: An allocation framework (Amundi, 2021)

For compliance reasons, this paper is NOT accessible in the United States

Amundi suggests a pragmatic approach and framework for integrating the idiosyncratic characteristics of alternative assets into portfolio allocation and management.

Webinar: The changing landscape for private credit (PGIM, Feb 2021)

In this webinar hosted by PGIM Alternatives, a panel of industry experts examines the private credit space and highlights several opportunities.

Catastrophe Bonds: Natural diversification – A primer (Neuberger Berman, 2021)

For compliance reasons, this paper is only accessible in certain geographies

This introductory guide from Neuberger Berman on catastrophe bonds also presents why they think the asset class is misunderstood and mispriced.

Podcast: The Insurance-linked Securities Market (Willis Towers Watson, 2021)

In this podcast, investment professionals at Willis Towers Watson discuss the results of their 2020 Global Insurance Linked Securities (ILS) Survey and the outlook for the ILS market over the next few years.

Biden’s Next Big Move – Infrastructure (BNP Paribas AM, Mar 2021)

BNP Paribas Asset Management explores some of the implications of U.S. President Biden’s pledge on infrastructure spending – a sum which could amount to 1.25% of GDP per annum over the next decade.

The Technology Challenge Risk for Infrastructure (Marsh & McLennan/GIIA, 2021)

In this report, Marsh & McLennan investigates how technological change impacts infrastructure assets and why this might shape the sector in the future.

Exploring Tokenisation in Alternative Investments (AllAboutAlpha blog, 2021)

This paper examines how alternative assets might be digitalised and then tokenised using blockchain technology.

Video: Top Hedge Fund Investors – Ten years later (Commonfund, 2020)

Commonfund’s Mark Anson looks back at the last decade of hedge fund investing and how hedge funds must evolve to survive.

Water Risks in Real Assets (PGIM IAS, Feb 2021)

PGIM Institutional Advisory & Solutions (IAS) highlights the need for real asset investors, particularly those in farmland and infrastructure, to consider water scarcity and price variability.