On November 28, 2023, VettaFi hosted an Alternatives Symposium with an excellent turnout of nearly 750 advisors and investors registered for the event. The symposium benefited everyone involved as the event included some of the top firms and individuals in the industry offering their insights into several different alternative strategies for advisors to consider. Below, readers will find a summary of some of the key points shared by the experts at each of the sessions covered at the event. To view the playback of the Alternatives Symposium please register for the on-demand replay here.
In the first panel of the symposium, moderator Tom Lydon, vice chairman of VettaFi, spoke with John Love, president & CEO of USCF Investments, and Ed Egilinsky, managing director and head of sales, distribution &and alternatives at Direxion. The trio of professionals discussed commodities at large, and what advisors can expect from a handful of commodities moving forward with the rise of several geopolitical risks. Love and Egilinksy also touch on some of the benefits advisors can get by having a broad commodity strategy in their portfolios.
To learn more, read our coverage of the session: “The Commodities Outlook Entering 2024.”
Investing in Crypto Currency Strategies
During the second panel of the symposium, Todd Rosenbluth, head of research at VettaFi, joined the event. He was joined by Dave LaValle, senior managing director and global head of ETFs at Grayscale, and Matt Hougan, chief investment officer at Bitwise Asset Management. Rosenbluth, LaValle, and Hougan discuss how futures-based ETFs and soon-to-market spot bitcoin ETFs can fit into advisors’ portfolios. In addition, both LaValle and Hougan share some of the benefits a potential spot bitcoin ETF can offer investors, and each panelist gives their outlook for cryptocurrency in 2024.
To learn more, read our coverage of the session: “Industry Experts Share Upbeat Crypto Outlook for 2024.“
Bob Long, CEO of StepStone Private Wealth, and Avery Kiser, senior VP and alternatives client advisor at Neuberger Berman, joined the event to discuss their individual experiences and share their thoughts on the current state of the private equity industry. The pair of professionals gives advisors insights into the structure of current high-caliber private equity deals, and why they like the asset class overall. Additionally, Long and Kiser discuss unique investment vehicles that allow advisors and their clients to invest in private equity.
Danielle Gilbert, managing director for business development at Panagram Structured Asset Management, and Bill Sokol, director of ETF Product Management at VanEck, joined the symposium to discuss CLOs. Both Gilbert and Sokol share their own definition of what a CLO is and also mention that these products can offer higher yields than some Treasury securities that are currently on the market. The duo also dives into some of the risks that can be associated with investing in this strategy. To close the conversation, Gilbert and Sokol introduce the audience to each of their firm’s products that can give advisors and their clients exposure to CLOs.
Gold, Silver & Agriculture
Robert Minter, director of ETF Investment Strategy at abrdn, and Jake Hanley, a managing director and senior portfolio specialist at Teucrium, broke down specific commodity sectors that advisors can gain exposure to. Both Minter and Hanley give their take on what targeted approaches of commodities have been successful this year , specifically highlighting gold as a bright spot. To close the segment, Minter and Hanley share products that can give investors targeted exposure to commodities. The duo shares products offering exposure to precious metals and the agricultural sectors.
To learn more, read our coverage of the session: “Commodities May Have Struggled, But Bright Spots Exist.“
Alexi Panagiotakopoulos, a partner and chief investment officer at Fundamental Income, and Ed O’Donnell, director and head of liquid real assets Americas product at DWS, joined the symposium to talk about all things real estate. The duo discussed the strengths and bright spots of the different areas of the real estate market that they are currently seeing. Both Panagiotakopoulos and O’Donnell also touched on misconceptions of the industry and discussed some ETFs that are being offered in the space.
To learn more, read our coverage of the session: “Real Estate: The Underrated Alts Segment.“
Go-Anywhere Strategies: Managed Futures & Long/Short
Andrew Beer, founder of DBi and iM Global Partner, and Marc Regenbaum, a managing director with Neuberger Berman, give their insights into go-anywhere strategies. The pair first give their thoughts on a polling question, where the audience shares if they are currently invested in managed future or long and short strategies. Following that, both Beer and Regenbaum shared how they think about following trends, and what strategies they are looking toward as we head into 2024. The duo also share a pair of funds that can give investors exposure to these types of strategies.
Does the Future Belong to Crypto?
Simeon Hyman, a global investment strategist with ProShares, and Paul Cappelli, head of liquid passive strategies at Galaxy Asset Management, dove deep into the current cryptocurrency market when they joined the symposium. Hyman and Cappelli also give their individual takes on what they expect to see from the cryptomarket in 2024 and beyond. The duo also shares a number of different products that are currently on the market that can give advisors and their clients exposure to digital assets today as opposed to waiting for the spot products that are yet to come to market.
Recapping Alternative Strategies for Advisors
To close the symposium, moderators Tom Lydon and Todd Rosenbluth recapped some of the lessons they learned from each of the speakers at the event. Overall, the Alternatives Symposium offered investors and advisors insight into how some of the top firms and individuals are implementing several different alternative strategies into what they do day in and day out. To view the playback of the alternative symposium, please register for the on-demand replay here.
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