Alternative investments may include: hedge funds, hybrid securities, gold and other selected
commodities and resources.
Each alternative asset type has its own growth and/or defensive characteristics so it can be difficult to
classify them into a particular asset class. For example, gold can act as a safe haven during volatile
markets and in this way acts as a defensive asset. At the same time the price of gold can also fluctuate
widely and in this way it acts as a growth asset.
Alternative assets generally perform differently to the more traditional asset classes and some are highly
dependent on manager skill which may introduce a different type of risk to an investment portfolio.
Because alternative assets can have unique characteristics (both conservative and risky) they should
be examined closely so the true nature of the investment is understood alternatives aren’t always as
they seem. Another thing to note is that some alternative investments are unlisted investments and as
such there may be liquidity issues and there can sometimes be a lack of available research.