Additionally, managed futures held up so far this year. For instance, year-to-date, the WisdomTree Managed Futures Strategy Fund (NYSEArca: WDTI) was up 0.7%, First Trust Morningstar Managed Futures Strategy Fund (NYSEArca: FMF) was 1.4% higher and ProShares Managed Futures Strategy (NYSEArca: FUTS) was down 0.6%. Managed-futures strategies tend to have very low, and even negative, correlations to the stock market. The strategy utilizes a number of futures contracts in commodities, energy, agriculture, currency and debt.

Other alternative strategies showed better performance than the broader equities market so far this year. For instance, the First Trust Long/Short Equity ETF (NYSEArca: FTLS) decreased 6.1%, ProShares RAFI Long/Short ETF (NYSEArca: RALS) was 1.3% lower and QuantShares U.S. Market Neutral Anti-Beta Fund (NYSEArca: BTAL) gained 8.3%. These long/short strategies take both long positions in U.S. equities and pare bets with short positions.

Investors can also take a look at ETFs that track a basket of alternative investment strategies. For instance, the newer PowerShares Multi-Strategy Alternative Portfolio (NasdaqGM: LALT) and ProShares Morningstar Alternatives Solution ETF (NYSEArca: ALTS), which dipped 1.4% and 4.5% year-to-date, respectively. ALTS employs long-short strategies, hedge fund replication, managed futures, global infrastructure, merger & acquisitions, private equities and Treasury spread investments. The actively managed LALT holds a combination of equities, along with financial future contracts, forward currency contracts and other securities.

Max Chen contributed to this article.