Alternative Assets (ECFS992)

This unit is designed as an introduction to alternative assets and covers the three broad categories of alternative investments, namely ‘real assets’, hedge funds and private equity. The unit examines the basic strategies and techniques within each of these categories, their return and risk characteristics and the potential role they play within an investment portfolio. Alternative assets introduce different risks than traditional assets and so a focus is given to their contribution to liquidity, fees, risk budgeting and factor analysis to help better understand the costs and benefits from a portfolio context. The unit content will also explore the contemporary challenges facing the alternative investments industry, providing context around issues like leverage, fees and regulatory constraints.

Note: ECFS992 has broadened beyond hedge funds to now include the full range of alternative investments, namely real assets, hedge funds and private equity. The unit explores the investment strategies utilised within each category and the role they play in constructing a diversified portfolio.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Demonstrate a broad understanding of the alternative investment industry and the key characteristics of the different investment categories.
  2. Explore the various techniques and strategies employed by alternative investment managers, including critical comparison to more traditional investment strategies.
  3. Demonstrate the technical skills required to evaluate the attractiveness of different alternative investments with respect to pricing, valuation and liquidity.
  4. Apply the research principles and methods utilised to incorporate alternative investments in to an investment portfolio. This includes an application of factor analysis and risk budgeting.
  5. Identify and analyse contemporary challenges and ethical issues in the alternative investment industry.


  1. Alternative Investment Landscape
  2. Trading Techniques and Investment Strategies
  3. Portfolio Construction
  4. Performance Evaluation and Pricing
  5. Industry Challenges

Prerequisite Units:


Unit Guides:

  • Alternative Assets - 2018. The link will provide a list of guides for this unit. If the desired term/location is not listed, please view the latest one available.

Back to the top of this page