What is an 'Alternative Asset'

An alternative asset is any non-traditional asset with potential economic value that would not be found in a standard investment portfolio. Due to the unconventional nature of alternative assets, valuation of some of these assets can be difficult.

BREAKING DOWN 'Alternative Asset'

For most people, examples of alternative assets would include art and antiques, precious metals, fine wines, rare stamps and coins, and sports cards and other collectibles. However, there are also more traditional alternative assets including hedge funds, venture capital-related projects and infrastructure. In either case, alternative assets tend to be less liquid than traditional investments. Thus, investors who favor alternative assets may have to consider a longer investment horizon.

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