Barely more than two decades into this millennium, we have already witnessed three economic and market crises: the financial crisis of 2008/09, and the pandemic-led economic and market meltdown of 2020, and the inflation spiral we are now experiencing. The impact of these crises, particularly the first two, took the form of drastically lower interest rates (even negative in some cases) coupled with extreme stock market volatility. More recently, interest rates have begun to climb back from historically low levels.
Yield-hungry and risk-averse investors in each crisis have sought out alternative investment products as a means to diversify their portfolios, preserve their capital, and bridge the return gap. The chosen products include real assets such as commodities, infrastructure, and real estate, the various types of alternative strategies found in hedge funds*, private equity and private credit*.
This course covers real assets, which have been in existence in one form or another for several decades. Once the choice of only high-net-worth individuals, real assets have moved into the mainstream and are now within reach of the typical retail investor.
* Alternative strategies are covered in detail in CSI’s course, Alternative Strategies: Hedge Funds and Liquid Alternatives.
* Private equity and private credit are covered in detail in CSI’s course, Investing in Private Markets.