The study was carried out by Natixis Global Asset Management and questioned more than 5,000 investors in 14 countries. It found that investors were generally more worried about the risk held within their portfolios and, therefore, took more and more notice of their advisers when making investment decisions. However, the study found that many investors are not realising the potential benefits of alternative investment as a tool for diversifying portfolios against risk.
Anthony Johnson of the alternative investment advocacy group, AAA, commented on the finding: “We think it’s a shame that investors are still missing out on the diversification opportunities offered by alternative asset classes like forestry, real estate, private equity and even precious metals and art.
“These kinds of alternatives are often less correlated with inflation and can grow in value when other, more traditional assets are seeing their values plummet.”
Forestry, for example, is being lauded as a great investment product as it offers flexibility for the investor, claims AAA. Anyone buying timberland has purchased growing trees that will continue to grow if timber prices are depressed. “Investors simply hang on to their investment and watch it physically grow if the market conditions aren’t right when they reach maturity,” added Johnson.
The study carried out by Natixis also found that fewer investors are confident that their investment portfolio will provide for them in retirement. In fact, the trend is more towards preserving capital than increasing returns. “This is even more of an argument for trying out alternative investment through companies like Greenwood Management that offer a risk-averse middle-term option that can protect portfolios form market crashes and the impact of changes in inflation,” concluded Mr Johnson.
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