Wednesday, September 21, 2011
The Role of "Alternative" Investments
Alternative strategies (Managed Futures, MLP's, Commodities, Hedge Funds, etc.) have been available for years but are often both misunderstood and misused by financial advisors. They are too often "sold" as a stand-alone investment vs. part of a well-designed portfolio strategy. In the majority of cases, Alternative Investments carry high initial and ongoing costs and can have sketchy track records.
WFG has been researching Alternative Investments for our 17 years of managing wealth. We pan through all the "sand and dirt" looking for nuggets of gold as part of our ongoing ConVal® investment research process.
We use these strategies both offensively and defensively. The common misperception is that they are only used for offense- to produce greater returns. WFG generally uses these strategies on a defensive basis. In other words, they are used to protect and reduce volatility in our portfolios while generating a given level of target return with a reduced level of risk by their skillful use.
In several WFG models, as well as in our No-Load Mutual Fund, we hold a variety of these assets, such as Managed Futures, Commodities, and MLPs.
INVESTING LESSON: Don't forget that defense wins championships!