NEW YORK (MainStreet) A higher percentage of women than men are turning to alternative investments to generate income, drive capital growth and achieve portfolio diversification, according to a new report.
Alternative investments include asset classes other than stocks, bonds and cash, such as commodities, private equity, hedge funds and managed futures.
A MainStay Investments study called Investing Outside the Box found that 58% of women who invested in alternatives had a positive experience and 89% would recommend alternatives to their peers.
"Non-traditional investments may act as an equalizer that helps women get back on track to achieving their important long-term goals," said Matthew Leung, head of channel marketing strategies at MainStay Investments.
And getting back on track is important for women who've taken time off from work to care for children or aging parents.
"Women tend to be more conservative investors than men therefore it would stand to reason that they would seek out additional avenues through which they can diversify their portfolios away from traditional equity and fixed income investments and reduce portfolio volatility," said Rosemarie Moeller, financial advisor with AEPG Wealth Strategies in New Jersey.
Some 27% of high net worth women compared to 20% men are turning to alternative investments.
"Women live longer, spend more time retired, are more likely to take time off work to care of children or aging parents and also tend to make less money than their male counterparts," Leung told MainStreet. "With these important factors in mind, high net worth women in our study indicate that alternative investments may offer the best opportunity to diversify their portfolios and reach their objectives, such as retirement."