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Many people either don’t know what the term “alternative investment” means or associate it with risk. Alternative investments are essentially investments that don’t fall into one of the more conventional or familiar categories like stocks, bonds, or cash. Alternative investments include strategies like private equity, also known as venture capital, hedge funds, managed futures, commodities, real estate, or derivative contracts. Important to note is that while traditional investment vehicles are regulated by the SEC, alternative investments are generally unregulated and somewhat illiquid. Because of this, alternatives are best suited for institutional or accredited investors.