1. Farlex Financial Dictionary (via Financial Dictionary)
Any investment other than a stock, bond, or cash. Prominent examples include derivatives, hedge funds, real estate, and commodities. Most of the time, institutional investors and high net-worth individuals are the main holders of alternative investments. This is because they are subject to fewer regulations and are consequently riskier than most other investments. Alternative investments are rarely required to publish independently verifiable financial information. They also have particularly high minimum investments, which discourage casual investors. Alternative investments are controversial in many quarters. Because of the comparative lack of regulation and disclosure, they are subject to scrutiny from politicians and economic analysts. However, they often have high (sometimes very high) returns.
2. Wikipedia (as of Jan 2014)
An alternative investment is an investment in asset classes other than stocks, bonds, and cash. The term is a relatively loose one and includes tangible assets such as precious metals, art, wine, antiques, coins, or stamps and some financial assets such as commodities, private equity, distressed securities, hedge funds, carbon credits, venture capital, film production and financial derivatives. Investments in real estate and forestry are also often termed alternative despite the ancient use of such real assets to enhance and preserve wealth. ( ... ... )
3. Investopedia: Various topics under the title of alternative investments
4. 한국경제신문: [강현철의 시사경제 뽀개기] 저금리 시대 주식·채권 빼고 어디에 투자할까? (2013년 11월)
( ... ... )대체투자 또는 대안투자(Alternative Investment·AI)는 주식과 채권 등 전통적인 투자상품(traditional investment)과는 상대적인 개념으로, 주식과 채권을 제외한 모든 투자상품을 뜻한다. 대표적인 대체투자 상품에는 사모펀드, 헤지펀드, 부동산, 벤처기업, 원유 금 비철금속(원자재), 선박 등이 있다. 대체투자는 전통적인 투자와 투자 대상이 다를 뿐만 아니라 같은 상품인데도 서로 다른 가격에 거래되는 점을 이용해 수익을 올리는 아비트라지(arbitrage·재정거래) 등 새로운 투자전략을 사용한다는 점에서 차이가 있다. ( ... ... )