Alternative asset classes typically include private equity, hedge funds and commodities. These asset classes are growing in importance as they provide diversification benefits away from the traditional asset classes of equities and bonds.

Whilst it is unlikely that an investor would wish to invest solely in one of these asset classes, they are playing an increasingly important role as part of a balanced investment approach.

Past performance is not a guide to future performance and may not be repeated. The value of investments and the income from them may go down as well as up and investors may not get back the amounts originally invested