Alternative Investments, ETFs Are Increasingly Popular | ETF Trends

Institutional investors and hedge funds are expected to significantly raise their allocation to alternative investment strategies ahead. With exchange traded funds, any investor can access alts strategies as well.

According to PwC, the alternative investment industry is expected to expand fivefold to at least $13.6 trillion in the next half decade, compared to its current $2.5 trillion, reports Svea Herbst-Bayliss for Reuters.

PwC also calculates that liquid alternative funds could grow to $664 billion by 2020 from $260 billion at the end of 2013.

“Alternative asset management will undergo a transformation in the years to 2020 and beyond as it adjusts to a new operating and economic environment and moves toward center stage,” PwC said.

Pension funds are more interested in made-to-order investments that help mitigate risk, maintain wealth and meet liabilities. For instance, sovereign funds project that alternatives could make up 14% of their portfolios by 2020. Meanwhile, more affluent investors want access to strategies that have been previously off limits or limited to the institutional-sized investment portfolios.

Investors can also take a look at ETFs that track alternative investment strategies. For instance, the newer PowerShares Multi-Strategy Alternative Portfolio (NasdaqGM: LALT) and ProShares Morningstar Alternatives Solution ETF (NYSEArca: ALTS) employ a range of alternative strategies to enhance risk-adjusted returns when added to a traditional stock and bond portfolio.