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Summer Read: CFA Institute Releases Primer on Alternative Investments

A new book from the CFA Institute’s research unit provides an overview of alternative investments. The authors say the book is designed to provide essential information about the characteristics, challenges, and purposes of alternative assets in the context of a well-diversified institutional portfolio. The book examines the four broadest and largest categories of alternative investments: hedge funds, private equity, real assets, and struc­tured products; provides a brief overview of the alternative investing environ­ment; covers topics related to risk measurement, risk management, port­folio benchmarking, and portfolio construction; and makes the case for including alternative assets in institutional portfolios.The book does not emphasize legal or fiduciary responsibilities of fund independent trustees. However, the CFA Institute provides another resource that, though not specifically targeted to mutual fund trustees, may be helpful to fund directors who serve on their funds’ investment committees. A Primer for Investment Trustees discusses foundational topics such as investment policy, the fund’s mission, investment objectives, investment risk tolerance, investment assets, performance evaluation, and ethics in investing.