What We Learned at the FA/PW Alternative Conference


Alternative investing is the future. That was the takeaway from the Annual Financial Advisor/Private Wealth Innovative Alternative Investment Strategies Conference, which the CAIA team attended late last month in Denver. According to the predictions of several panels, which included CEOs of international alternative investment firms such as Morgan Creek Capital. Financial professionals at large will have to embrace alternative strategies in order to achieve the returns expected by today’s clients. The general implication was that following only traditional investing strategies will not cut it.

With the explanation of the mounting importance of alternative investing came a piece of crucial advice: Registered Investment Advisers (RIAs) must learn to communicate clearly to clients. For instance, the larger conversation in the finance community today is less about alpha generation and more about sustained risk-adjusted returns - a trend that clients need to understand. The risks involved in new, alternative strategies also need explanation: speakers repeatedly addressed the challenge of introducing hedge fund strategies into more liquid investment structures.

Aside from entering intelligent discussion with their clients about opportunities, the conference speakers further highlighted how advisers and managers simply need to learn more about the growing pool of alternatives in order to better perform. For instance, the rise of retail alternative products entails a greater need for alternative investment education since traditional curriculums do not address these new offerings.

In particular, the panel moderated by CAIA CEO Florence Lombard focused on the need for comprehensive alternative investment education. The CAIA Program is designed to provide the core competencies required to create, manage, and monitor an institutional-grade portfolio. To learn more about the comprehensive alternative investment education that the CAIA designation offers, visit CAIA Program.

Heather Kane

Account Manager at the CAIA Association