Types of Alternative Investments

Although there is a broad range of alternative investments, they tend to fall into one of two common categories: alternative asset classes and alternative investment classes.
Alternative Asset Classes Alternative Investment Classes

These types of alternative investments derive their value from themselves and are sometimes called “hard assets”.


  • Precious Metals: Gold, Silver, Platinum
  • Energy: Oil, Coal, Natural Gas
  • Currencies: US Dollar, Euro, Japanese Yen
  • Agricultural Commodities: Corn, Wheat, Soybeans
These are investment strategies that use both traditional and alternative asset classes to seek returns.


  • Hedge Funds
  • Managed Futures


Learn more about the Goals of Alternative Investments

See Glossary of Terms for definitions