Alternative Investments: A Detailed Review

The market for alternative investments has grown by 400% since the financial crisis of 2008


Since 2008, problems have persisted in traditional stockmarket-focused areas of saving, investing and financial planning.  Many people have been disappointed by the returns on their money. In the 13 years since the year 2000, the FTSE 100 is virtually unchanged. High volatility has been a constant feature and it's expected to continue whilst debt across the world remains at record levels.  Investors have also been put off by high charges, significant bonuses and the perception of a selfish culture in financial services and banking. 

Against this backdrop, it's not surprising there's been a growing appetite for alternative ways to invest that doesn't involve the stockmarket. 

8 Alternative Investment Sectors Arranged In Risk Order

Set out below are each of the eight sectors that make up the alternative investment area. We've listed them in risk order, with property representing the lowest risk in our opinion. Click on the relevant blue buttons to see more detail about each sector.

alternative investment

Alternative Investment: Property (1 of 8)

Property is the best known alternative investment widely used as a diversifier in traditional portfolios and is, perhaps, now more mainstream than ‘alternative’. Read about alternative investment Property.


alternative investment

Alternative Investment: Precious Metals (2 of 8)

There are three key drivers behind precious metals prices - investors looking for a store of wealth, industrial demand and speculators expecting price growth. Read about alternative investment Precious Metals.

Precious Metals

alternative investment

Alternative Investment: Farmland (3 of 8)

Productive agricultural land is a tangible asset that can be directly owned and offers the prospect of both regular income and capital preservation. Read about alternative investment Farmland.


alternative investment

Alternative Investment: Forestry (4 of 8)

There are a significant number of drivers behind forestry investment, including a desire to invest in green projects, growing timber prices and relatively consistent returns. Read about alternative investment Forestry.


alternative investment

Alternative Investment: Energy (5 of 8)

Energy has been a long standing classic defensive investment, with success dependent on actively managed funds, regular portfolio rebalancing and diversification. Read about alternative investment Energy.


alternative investment

Alternative Investment: Land (6 of 8)

Land has been a directly held alternative store of wealth for the rich for centuries. There are now more opportunities for retail investors to purchase land, but investments need careful assessment. Read about alternative investment Land.


alternative investment

Alternative Investment: Collectibles (7 of 8)

Collectibles include classic cars, fine wines, art, stamps, furniture, antiques, watches and jewellery. They are rarely approved for SIPPs but store wealth due to their status as highly desirable items.  Read about alternative investment Collectibles.


alternative investment

Alternative Investment: Other Investments (8 of 8)

There are other investments that do not fall into the other sectors, some of which are explored in this section. Read about alternative investment Other Investments.

Other Investments

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AJ Bell Is Often The Best Value SIPP For Stockmarket Assets

That's our opinion.  Not just because AJ Bell was the first company to offer an online SIPP.  Nor that it's received many prestigious awards.  And not even because the wife of SIPPclub's Founder has an AJ Bell SIPP.  It's because it's one of the most competitive stockmarket SIPPs on the market. 

Over time, charges can wipe out a huge part of your fund.  We like AJ Bell because there are no set-up costs.  If you hold passive funds, which is our preference, or shares, investment trusts, EFTs, gilts or bonds, you pay one small fixed fee no matter how large your fund.  And when you come to draw your benefits either as occasional drawdown or UFPLS payments, there's a small charge for the whole year no matter how many times you access your money (many SIPP and SSAS providers charge more than this for each payment).  However, you should always compare charges in detail, because AJ Bell could be more expensive than other providers, depending on the type of stockmarket assets you hold.

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