Alternative Asset Management
An alternative asset is an investment that does not conform to the traditional asset classes of stock, bond or certificate. Alternative asset is usually used to describe more exotic investment options like works of art or bottles of fine wine, but the term applies to relatively common investments like residential rental real estate, as well.
An alternative investment is an asset that is not one of the conventional investment types, such as stocks, bonds and cash. Most alternative investment assets are held by institutional investors or accredited, high-net-worth individuals because of the complex natures and limited regulations of the investments. Alternative investments include private equity, hedge funds, managed futures, real estate, commodities and derivatives contracts.