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Alternative Investments: The New Growth Opportunities

  • ID: 650924
  • Report
  • January 2006
  • VRL Financial News Publishing
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A new report which looks in detail at developments in the main alternative asset classes and at specific product offerings targeted at the retail and institutional markets. It explains in simple terms how these instruments work, supported by case studies and an examination of the key trends, risks and opportunities in each marketplace.

Use this research to:

- Find out what the developments are in the main alternative asset classes
- Learn about the specific product offerings for the retail and institutional markets
- Examine the range and success of structured products

Why do you need this research?

In recent years both institutional and private investors have been intent on making their money work harder, and with derivative-based products this has been a rewarding strategy. It has proved far easier to make more impressive gains using increasingly liquid synthetic products, such as Swaps, than by using traditional financial instruments.

However, while the use of alternative investments is growing exponentially, it can be a difficult and technical area to keep abreast of. Information on the new investment segments is hard to collate, and generally written for specialists. This report is a one-stop shop for any manager in the financial services or investment marketplace who needs to keep up to date across the range of disciplines and product segments. It should also be an invaluable resource to anyone providing investment advice, from consulting actuaries to private client advisers, and to company directors involved in any way in investing company funds, particularly in light of their more onerous fiduciary duties.

Most remaining final salary pension schemes are fighting their way out of deficit positions, with the result that many occupational pension
schemes trustees are currently considering the use of alternative investment for the first time. They too now have a clear legal duty to understand the range of investments available.

Who should read this research?

- Marketing professionals
- Trustees
- Researchers and analysts
- Company directors with investment remit
- Top-end financial advisers
- Consulting actuaries
- Discretionary/Advisory portfolio managers
- Tax advisers

Use this research to:

- Find out what the developments are in the main alternative asset classes
- Learn about the specific product offerings for the retail and institutional markets
- Examine the range and success of structured products
Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown
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Part 1: The Retail Market

1 Structured Products
- An examination of the range and success of structured products.
- The impact of the negative publicity surrounding high income bonds on the structured marketplace, and the growing acceptance of guaranteed unit trusts.
- The strategies of lead players.
- How derivatives pricing will impact future product development.
- Case Study: National Savings cast in the unlikely role of major innovator.

2 The Derivatives Market
- Traded options and popular options strategies, such as the straddle.
- The boom in covered call writing.
- An index for everything! Burgeoning index compilation and its use in product development.
- Interest rate instruments.
- How the public is learning to deploy these products, such as hedging mortgage commitments.

3 Broking Services
- The stock-broking community’s response to the more challenging climate.
- How commissions and geographical boundaries have fallen.
- Exchange traded funds and specialised HOLDRs.
- Take-up and performance comparisons with tracker funds.
- The growing market in covered warrants.

Part 2: The Institutional Market

1 New-wave Fixed Interest
- Fixed interest is currently a hot spot in the City, attracting some of the best talent, who are rolling out an array of sophisticated high alpha solutions, such as leveraged loans and hybrid bonds.

2 Collateralised Debt Obligations
- One of the fastest growing derivatives areas is Collateralised Debt Obligations (CDOs), but never has professional opinion on strategy been so keenly divided.

3 Tactical Asset Allocation
Investors are increasingly setting off their asset allocation through a derivatives overlay. Such an overlay will explicitly divorce alpha and beta, and capture them independently of each other, creating performance that is not dependent on market conditions.

4 Portable Alpha
More than just the latest in fashionable thinking, portable alpha is starting to become a reality. A case study in implementation.

5 Pure Quant
Many strategies fall within the quant umbrella, but putting process over personality pay? A look at the global leaders, their infrastructure and systems.

6 Liability Driven Investment
Measuring performance with reference to a generic benchmark has fallen out of favour, creating that other big buzz phrase of the moment - ‘deconstrainment’ . At the extreme, pension schemes and others with future liabilities are using derivatives such as Swaps to precisely match their cash outflows.

7 Transition Management
Transition management is burgeoning, driven by asset allocation restructurings as investors look to diversify. Futures trading and exchange traded funds are now frequently used to minimise risk when an institutional client switches from one portfolio to another.

Part 3: Alternative Asset Classes

1 Hedge Funds
- The market demystified.
- A simple explanation of the wide range of strategies.
- The penetration and success of funds of funds.
- Regulatory issues.
- The German lead.

2 Seed Capital and VCTs
- Angel investing.
- How it works and where to find opportunities.
- Special situations such as theatre.

3 Currency Trading
- Currency trading is enjoying a resurgence.
- An explanation of the highly technical instruments on the market.
- How packaged currency products could be extended to the mass market.

4 Property
- The rise and rise of buy-to-let.
- Residential property prices – factors in the cycle.
- Real Estate Investment Trusts.
- The European and US experience.
- The criteria for UK property companies and other specialists likely to convert.

5 Commodities

6 Wine
- A big growth market that has recently struck a chord with the private investor
- How to invest, such as buying en primeur, and pitfalls to avoid.

7 Financial Spread Betting
- The internet revolution, website development and feature innovation.
- The grey market in new issues.

8 Contracts for Difference
Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown
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Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown