U.S. alternative mutual fund assets are expected to double their share of total mutual fund assets over the next two years and continue to grow over the next 10 years, according to new research from Cerulli Associates.
“As of year-end 2013, alternative mutual fund assets made up just 3% of total mutual fund assets, and asset managers expect this to grow to 6% by 2015,” said Michele Giuditta, associate director at Cerulli, in a press release.
This research comes from Cerulli’s latest report, Alternative Products and Strategies 2014: Identifying Opportunities in a Dynamic Investment Landscape.
Giuditta added that advisors and individuals are expected to steadily grow their use of alternative mutual funds. According to Cerulli, survey respondents predicted the market share will continue to grow for a while, reaching 9% in five years and 14% in 10 years.
Cerulli points to several reasons why alternatives will play a greater role in investors’ portfolios.
The asset managers polled cited “multiple factors as being significant drivers of alternative investments. Requests from institutional investors (57%) and financial advisors (52%) remain significant drivers, while interest from distributors/platforms (55%) continues to gain importance as a key driver.”
Cerulli also points out why investors might look to alternative investments. According to Cerulli, alternative investments can play multiple roles within an investor’s portfolio: attractive risk-adjusted returns, current income, low correlation and low volatility with public equity and debt markets, and protection against inflation.
Additionally, many advisors and investors are transforming from a traditional asset allocation approach to a risk-based or objective-based approach. This means some investors and advisors are abandoning the view of alternatives as a separate asset class and instead are classifying them according to the investment’s role within the portfolio.