What are alternative assets?

Even though the term “alternatives” is fairly new, investing in alternatives isn’t. Real estate, precious metals, agricultural products, and private lending are all alternative investments that existed long before you could buy stocks or bonds. 

What are alternative assets?

In investing, the term “alternatives” refers to “alternative assets.” This is basically a catch-all term for assets you can invest in that aren’t stocks and bonds. The thinking goes: Since stocks and bonds are “traditional” investments, anything else is an “alternative.” 

Some types of alternative investments are:

  • Art
  • Rare currency
  • Precious metals
  • Real estate
  • Timepieces
  • Commodities
  • Hedge funds
  • Venture capital
  • Private equity


How has investing in alternatives evolved?

Even though the term “alternatives” is fairly new, investing in alternatives isn’t. Real estate, precious metals, agricultural products, and private lending are all alternative investments that existed long before you could buy stocks or bonds. 

So, why are stocks and bonds “traditional” if they came later? One reason is that platforms like the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) created easier access to stocks and bonds. The NYSE launched in 1792.

In contrast, alternative investments only started becoming more structured in the 1900s. The first leveraged buyout, family trust, hedge fund, venture capital fund, and fund of funds all happened in the 1900s. Unfortunately, while these new structures gave access to new investors, they were still a very select few with wealth.

More recently, regulatory changes like the JOBs Act of 2012 have made it possible for new marketplaces to develop. Some examples are real estate investment trusts (REITs), crowdfunding, and fractional markets. These marketplaces have helped create more awareness and access. Still, the number of investors using them is relatively small. 

What’s next? At Every, our goal is to create the first true platform for alternative asset investments. Our platform helps trusted sellers grow their businesses, and gives investors the opportunity to invest in high-quality alternative assets.

Every connects investors and curators with a passion for alternative assets. As an investor, you can use Every to diversify your portfolio, learn about investing, and connect with experts and like-minded investors. As a curator, you can use Every’s platform, tools, and analytics to scale your audience and grow your business. For more information, visit us at www.investevery.com.