Investments come in all shapes and sizes from the relatively safe deposit account with a high street bank, to more volatile listed equities, authorised unit trusts, OEICS and property, and finally to high risk unregulated collective investments, derivatives and other complex financial instruments.

There are a number of ways by which an investor can distinguish between such a vast range of opportunities. These include the term, the potential returns, the risks, how easy it is to sell during the term, etc.

Investments can be made for long or short term capital growth, to provide a regular income or a mixture of the two.

Similarly, investments can be open ended or closed ended. Open ended investments generally have fewer restrictions on the number of investors or the amount that can be invested. Closed ended investments generally have a limit on the number of investors or require only a fixed amount of capital.

Alternative investments are typically defined as investments that are not into one of the three main asset classes of cash, listed equities and listed bonds. Investments not into these asset classes will typically be more complex, more illiquid and less regulated, and so more suitable for high net worth or sophisticated investors.

Here we will be examining in some detail the types of alternative investments that we list and review.