Alternatives Demand Set to Soar?

The growth of managed futures AUM has slowed down recently – a couple of mediocre years while stocks soar will do that. Given what we know about risk and investors’ desire to avoid big drawdowns, we don’t think that will last forever. But even we were a bit surprised by a new survey which claims that demand for retail alternatives (including hedge funds and managed futures) is set to triple in just four years. Via Finalternatives:

Global demand for retail alternative investment products, including hedge funds, will triple by 2017 to $939 billion, according to the latest research from Citi Prime Finance…

The survey, based on 82 interviews with a variety of industry players, predicts retail demand for alternatives will focus on mutual funds and ETFs, which now manage $259 billion and which could manage $770 billion by 2017. Investors in Europe and elsewhere will look to UCITS products while smaller institutional investors will seek lower-fee, publicly offered products,  pushing overall global demand for these “liquid alternatives” to $1.3 trillion, a level equal to the total assets invested in all hedge funds in 2008.

Investors looking to alternative investments is good news, but that growth headed for retail mutual funds and ETFs? It’s frustrating, to say the least. We’ve been very vocal about the problems with these products, and we still think managed accounts are the best way to access the space if you have the capital for it.

That’s not to say that all retail products should send investors running in the opposite direction. We’ve been keeping a close eye on the space for a while now, and while it’s true that most of these funds are horrid – loaded with unnecessary fees and offering a product that is “alternative” only name – there are a handful who appear to be doing it right. Picking them out from amongst the chaff is the tricky part.

It’s good to see more investors seeking  access to alternative investments, but we are a little worried that the flood of bad offerings out there will end up burning investors who are venturing into the space for the first time.

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Disclaimer
The performance data displayed herein is compiled from various sources, including BarclayHedge, and reports directly from the advisors. These performance figures should not be relied on independent of the individual advisor's disclosure document, which has important information regarding the method of calculation used, whether or not the performance includes proprietary results, and other important footnotes on the advisor's track record.

Benchmark index performance is for the constituents of that index only, and does not represent the entire universe of possible investments within that asset class. And further, that there can be limitations and biases to indices such as survivorship, self reporting, and instant history.

Managed futures accounts can subject to substantial charges for management and advisory fees. The numbers within this website include all such fees, but it may be necessary for those accounts that are subject to these charges to make substantial trading profits in the future to avoid depletion or exhaustion of their assets.

Investors interested in investing with a managed futures program (excepting those programs which are offered exclusively to qualified eligible persons as that term is defined by CFTC regulation 4.7) will be required to receive and sign off on a disclosure document in compliance with certain CFT rules The disclosure documents contains a complete description of the principal risk factors and each fee to be charged to your account by the CTA, as well as the composite performance of accounts under the CTA's management over at least the most recent five years. Investor interested in investing in any of the programs on this website are urged to carefully read these disclosure documents, including, but not limited to the performance information, before investing in any such programs.

Those investors who are qualified eligible persons as that term is defined by CFTC regulation 4.7 and interested in investing in a program exempt from having to provide a disclosure document and considered by the regulations to be sophisticated enough to understand the risks and be able to interpret the accuracy and completeness of any performance information on their own.

RCM receives a portion of the commodity brokerage commissions you pay in connection with your futures trading and/or a portion of the interest income (if any) earned on an account's assets. The listed manager may also pay RCM a portion of the fees they receive from accounts introduced to them by RCM.

See the full terms of use and risk disclaimer here.

Disclaimer
The performance data displayed herein is compiled from various sources, including BarclayHedge, and reports directly from the advisors. These performance figures should not be relied on independent of the individual advisor's disclosure document, which has important information regarding the method of calculation used, whether or not the performance includes proprietary results, and other important footnotes on the advisor's track record.

Benchmark index performance is for the constituents of that index only, and does not represent the entire universe of possible investments within that asset class. And further, that there can be limitations and biases to indices such as survivorship, self reporting, and instant history.

Managed futures accounts can subject to substantial charges for management and advisory fees. The numbers within this website include all such fees, but it may be necessary for those accounts that are subject to these charges to make substantial trading profits in the future to avoid depletion or exhaustion of their assets.

Investors interested in investing with a managed futures program (excepting those programs which are offered exclusively to qualified eligible persons as that term is defined by CFTC regulation 4.7) will be required to receive and sign off on a disclosure document in compliance with certain CFT rules The disclosure documents contains a complete description of the principal risk factors and each fee to be charged to your account by the CTA, as well as the composite performance of accounts under the CTA's management over at least the most recent five years. Investor interested in investing in any of the programs on this website are urged to carefully read these disclosure documents, including, but not limited to the performance information, before investing in any such programs.

Those investors who are qualified eligible persons as that term is defined by CFTC regulation 4.7 and interested in investing in a program exempt from having to provide a disclosure document and considered by the regulations to be sophisticated enough to understand the risks and be able to interpret the accuracy and completeness of any performance information on their own.

RCM receives a portion of the commodity brokerage commissions you pay in connection with your futures trading and/or a portion of the interest income (if any) earned on an account's assets. The listed manager may also pay RCM a portion of the fees they receive from accounts introduced to them by RCM.

See the full terms of use and risk disclaimer here.