Usually refers to investments in hedge funds. Many hedge funds pursue strategies that are uncommon relative to mutual funds. Examples of alternative investment strategies are: long--short equity, event driven, statistical arbitrage, fixed income arbitrage, convertible arbritage, short bias, global macro, and equity market neutral. May also refer to the high frequency style of commodity trading advisors who often employ technical and quantitative tools for intraday investments
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 (sometimes very high) returns.