Key Terms

1031 Exchange

A tax-deferred transaction that allows investors to sell one investment property and reinvest the proceeds into another similar property, deferring capital gains taxes.

Accredited Investor

An individual who meets specific wealth or income criteria is eligible for exclusive investment opportunities unavailable to the general public.

Non Accredited Investor

An individual or entity who does not meet the wealth or income criteria set for accredited investors and may have limited access to certain investment opportunities.

Venture Capital

Funding provided to startup companies with high growth potential in exchange for equity ownership, often provided by venture capital firms or angel investors.

Opportunity Zone Investment

Investment in designated economically distressed areas eligible for certain tax incentives under the Opportunity Zones program, aimed at spurring economic development.


Income or gains that are not subject to taxation until a future date, typically upon withdrawal or realization, allowing investors to defer taxes on investment growth.

Alternative Investment

In the ever-evolving landscape of finance, investors are increasingly turning to alternative investments to diversify their portfolios and seek opportunities beyond traditional assets like stocks, bonds, and cash. Alternative investments encompass a broad range of financial assets that not only provide investors with an opportunity to allocate funds outside of the market, but can also provide stability and/or higher returns than traditional investment vehicles. Keep reading and dive into the realm of alternative investments, exploring their types, regulatory landscape, pros and cons, and more.

Types of Alternative Investment Vehicles

There are many types of alternative investments. Thanks to many legislation changes over the past 10-20 years, more opportunities are available to investors than ever before. Some alternative investments include:

Real Estate

Real estate investments involve acquiring properties for income generation or capital appreciation. Investors may benefit from tax-deferred or tax-free options, such as 1031 exchanges and opportunity zone investments.

Check out Dutch’s video on real estate investing.


Commodities encompass physical goods like precious metals, agricultural products, and energy resources. Investing in commodities can provide a hedge against inflation and diversify a portfolio.


Digital currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum have gained popularity as alternative investments, offering high volatility and potential for substantial returns.


Agricultural land investments offer the potential for steady returns and can be an attractive option for those interested in sustainable and ethical investing.

Listen to Dutch’s podcast episode on farmland investing.

Venture Capital and Private Equity

Investing in private companies or startups can be lucrative, albeit with higher risks. Venture capital and private equity investments often require a substantial minimum investment.

Art and Collectibles

This category includes investments in valuable artworks, antiques, and collectibles. While illiquid, these assets may provide unique opportunities and diversification benefits.

Peer-to-peer Lending

Alternative lending platforms allow individuals to lend money directly to others, bypassing traditional financial institutions. This can provide an income stream but carries the risk of borrower default.

  Regulation of  

Alternative Investments

Alternative investments, given their unique and sometimes complex nature, are susceptible to scams and fraud. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act empowers the SEC to regulate these investments, with a focus on protecting investors. Accredited investors, meeting specific wealth or income criteria, are often the only ones eligible to participate in certain alternative offerings.

Pros of Alternative Investments

Low Correlation

Alternative investments often exhibit low correlation with traditional assets, reducing portfolio risk and enhancing diversification.

Access to Niche Markets

Alternative investments open doors to markets not readily available in traditional finance, such as art or trading cards, offering unique opportunities.

Potential for Higher Returns

Due to their riskier nature, alternative investments may offer higher returns compared to conventional assets.

Flexibility and Variety

Investors have the flexibility to choose from a variety of alternative investments based on their risk appetite, preferences, and investment goals.

Price Stability

Illiquidity in some alternative investments can enhance price stability by discouraging panic selling or emotional decision-making.

Learn about the major differences between Wall Street and Alternative Investments in this video.

Cons of Alternative Investments

Higher Fees and Expenses

Alternative investments often come with higher fees and expenses, limiting accessibility for some investors.

Regulatory Risks

Some alternative opportunities may have less regulatory oversight, increasing the risk of fraud, misconduct, and other abuses.

Illiquidity Challenge

While illiquidity can be a benefit, it poses challenges if a seller needs to liquidate quickly.

Complex Structures

The intricate structures of certain alternative investments can be challenging for investors to understand fully.

Limited Market Data

Lack of public trading makes it difficult to find comprehensive market data for historical trends or pricing of alternative investments.

Tax Implications of Alternative Investments

Real Estate and Energy Investments

Certain real estate and energy investments offer tax-deferred or tax-free options, such as 1031 exchanges and opportunity zone investments, allowing investors to reinvest capital gains and avoid taxation.

Collectibles Tax Rate

Assets like art and collectibles may be subject to a maximum 28% tax rate for capital gains without tax deductions.

Alternative investments often have distinct tax rules compared to traditional assets. Various income streams and tax-efficient investment options are key considerations for investors:


As investors seek to navigate the diverse landscape of alternative investments, careful consideration of the potential benefits, risks, and tax implications is paramount. While these investments offer unique opportunities for diversification and potential for higher returns, thorough due diligence, adherence to regulations, and an understanding of the complex structures involved are essential for a successful venture into the world of alternative investments.

If you’re looking to invest in alternative investment vehicles or just curious about how to get started, visit our website for more information and access to our investment vehicles.


  • What are the benefits of​​ diversifying my investment portfolio?

    The benefits of diversifying your portfolio are lower risk, potential for higher returns, mitigation of volatility, and more!

  • How can I assess my risk tolerance before investing in alternative assets?

    Reflect on your comfort level with risk ask yourself:

    How would you react to fluctuations in the value of your investments?
    Are you willing to accept the possibility of losing some or all of your investment?
    How would changes in the economy or financial markets affect your investment decisions?

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