Alternative Investment Market

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Alternative Investment Market

Any investment other than a stock, bond, or cash. Prominent examples include derivatives, hedge funds, real estate, and commodities. Most of the time, institutional investors and high net-worth individuals are the main holders of alternative investments. This is because they are subject to fewer regulations and are consequently riskier than most other investments. Alternative investments are rarely required to publish independently verifiable financial information. They also have particularly high minimum investments, which discourage casual investors. Alternative investments are controversial in many quarters. Because of the comparative lack of regulation and disclosure, they are subject to scrutiny from politicians and economic analysts. However, they often have high returns.

Alternative Investment Market (AIM)

a market for corporate STOCKS and SHARES that have not obtained a full STOCK MARKET listing. An unlisted securities market (USM) was established in the UK in 1980 in order to provide smaller companies with a means of raising new capital (see SHARE ISSUE) without the expense and the same formalities required by the main stock market. For example, such companies need only have a brief trading record to qualify and the proportion of their shares sold in the open market need only be 10% of their ISSUED CAPITAL instead of the usual 25%. The USM was phased out in 1996 and superseded by the Alternative Investment Market (AIM). AIM imposes no minimum on the percentage of a company's shares in public hands and no minimum trading record.

Alternative Investment Market

see UNLISTED-SECURITIES MARKET.
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