Making Asset Allocation ‘Great Again’!


Through interactions with over 300 broker dealer systems and meetings with over 5000 Financial Advisors (FA), we discovered, first hand that Alternative Investments (AI), at just around 4% of typical retail client portfolios, remain grossly under allocated.

This is in part because FAs lack sound means to quantify and demonstrate AI’s accretive portfolio benefits. Given mind boggling heterogeneity across 40 sub-types within real estate, private equity, hedge funds, liquid alternatives, managed futures, oil & gas, credit structures and fixed income substitutes, AI is poorly understood.

Moreover, AI given unique issues of inconsistent returns measurement, opacity, special risks, variable degrees of liquidity and usage of active management techniques within inefficient markets does not lend itself to conventional asset allocation methods. In order to place AI within client portfolios, FAs need a simple way to understand and to explain its benefits within the context of their particular clients; to allocate appropriately, as well as to access portfolio exposure by investing with the right set of manager funds.


Author: Sameer_Jain

Partner. Sameer Jain is founder of FinTech, the world’s first portal that seamlessly integrates traditional, illiquid and alternative investments within portfolios. Prior to this he was Chief Economist & Managing Director at AR Capital. Before that he headed Investment Content & Strategy at UBS Alternative Investments. At UBS, he served as a non-voting member of the Wealth Management Research investment committee, and as a capital allocator was responsible for all illiquid investing including fund manager selection and due diligence across the platform. Prior to UBS he headed product development & investment research at Citigroup Alternative Investments that managed over $75 billion of alternative investments across hedge funds, managed futures, private equity, credit structures, infrastructure and real estate. Here he led a team that developed proprietary models for portfolio strategy and asset allocation with alternative investments, provided investment support and research to pension plans, sovereign wealth funds, endowments as well as internal clients including Citi Private Bank. Before this he was with Cambridge Alternative Investments and SunGard (System Access) where he travelled to over 80 countries for work across Europe, Asia, Middle-East and Africa. He has written over 30 academic and practitioner articles on alternative investments with thousands of downloads at SSRN, presented at over a hundred industry conferences and has coauthored a book, Active Equity Management. Mr. Jain has multiple degrees in engineering, management, public administration and policy and is a graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University. He is a recipient of the Alfred Sloan Fellowship and subsequently was a Fellow of Public Policy and Management at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government for a year. He holds Series 7 and 66 securities licenses.

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