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Seniors Comment on Their Risk Tolerance for Alternative Investments

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Recently, we had the opportunity to speak with a group of senior clients to learn their thoughts on so-called “alternative investments.” Read on to find out their thoughts on this controversial topic. Also, if you have an opinion about alternative investments —  whether you are advising them to your clients or wouldn’t touch them with a ten-foot pole —  please comment below or send us your thoughts at [email protected]

I own gold. Actually, I own shares in a gold fund, an ETF. It’s nice because I don’t have to worry about all the problems that go along with actually storing gold. I bought them about 5 years ago, and they’ve done really, really well. I have quite a large stake in the fund, too, about 20 percent of my total portfolio. I guess you could say I’m a gold bug. I love the stuff!

Franklin, 78
Round Rock, Texas

We own REITs and have done for some time. They took a beating, of course, after the housing bust. It plummeted and we lost a lot of ground. Fortunately, we didn’t have a large amount of money in it — $10,000 or something like that. Also, on the advice of our financial planner, we bought into a diversified real-asset fund. It’s got commodities, real estate, energy and some other things. It’s a good hedge against inflation.

Brent, 68
Goodyear, Ariz.

We own some shares in a mining operation and we own an energy fund. It mostly invests in oil but also in some wind and solar. We think that energy will be one of the most valuable commodities going forward. The next time there’s a spike in the price of oil, I want to know I’m getting a piece of that action.

Viktor, 76
Frankfort, Ill.

We own some gold coins that we keep in a safe-deposit account. We bought most of them way back in the ‘70s and just held on to them. (There was a huge spike in the price of gold back then.) I wasn’t really sold on the idea, but my husband was convinced, and it turned out to be a good move. We just held on to them, and now they’re worth, oh, I don’t know, many times what we paid for them. We actually sold some of them recently to help out a relative. It just keeps going up.

Pauline, 77
Columbia, Md.

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