A 60/40 allocation to equities and bonds is no longer likely to be enough to offer investors the outcomes and diversification required to reach their long-term objectives - alternative investments are increasingly critical to the investor's portfolio.
This warning is the growing consensus of high-profile investment analysts. The direct cautionary message comes ahead of the 8th edition of the world-leading, invitation-only, AIM Summit, taking place on 7 April in Abu Dhabi at the Four Seasons hotel.
The Alternative Investment Management (AIM) Summit is a gathering for industry leaders in the world of alternatives, including hedge funds, private equity, venture capital, and private debt.
Zachary Cefaratti, CEO of Dubai-based Dalma Capital, a prominent alternative investment accelerator, and strategic partner of AIM Summit, says: "We estimate the alternative investment industry to currently represent over $10 trillion in assets under management today. Based on data from Preqin, we forecast this to grow to $14trn by 2023. As we enter the late stages of economic and credit cycles, investors increasingly consider alternative investment and uncorrelated assets.
"The AIM Summit brings together the largest and most sophisticated investors in hedge funds, private equity, private debt, venture capital and other alternative investments - connecting them with the world's leading alternative investment managers."
A typically so-called ‘diversified' portfolio of stocks and bonds has over the last decade been almost in step with the stock market.
Alternative investments will typically reduce this correlation and lower the erosion impact of market volatility. This is why they are becoming, for many, a critical part of the mix - but one that has been to date too often overlooked.
Raha Moradi, the managing partner of AIM Summit, notes: "Alternatives have a valuable place in an investor's portfolio. A speculator seeks a quick return and is willing to take on risk. But an investor actively tries to minimise risk and does so by mingling together asset classes with low or negative correlations with each other.
"AIM Summit is a platform for discussions on alternative investment developments, global market conditions and latest trends for more than 300 figureheads from 15-plus countries.
"The line-up of 60 speakers, panellists, and the moderators - including the Financial Times, CNBC, Preqin, and Le Business School - are carefully curated and selected to add value to the most relevant investment landscape. The event is in support of the associations AIMA and CAIA."
The confluence of expert voices and panellists includes Ryan Lemand, CEO of ADS Investment Solutions, and David Gibson, president and CEO of Gulf Analytica.
Dr Lemand observes: "The world's economic growth seems to have reached a peak, and despite financial markets still exhibiting momentum, it is time for investors to position for increased volatility over the coming year. Systematic strategies and emerging markets can be good alternatives to developed financial markets, especially GCC countries."
In a similar vein, Gibson affirmed: "Fintech companies continue to send shock waves through the finance industry. It is not a question of disruption but rather of total transformation."
Moradi concluded: "AIM Summit will, once again, be attended by some of the largest regional institutional investors and family offices, as well as some of the world's smartest and brightest fund managers in the alternative space. Why? Because alternative investments are perhaps more important than ever in helping lower volatility, bolster returns and wider diversification for investors around the world."