Broadly speaking, alternatives are investments in either assets other than the traditional types (stocks, bonds, and cash) or non-traditional strategies such as long/short or arbitrage. As a result of recent innovations, a wide variety of alternative investments are now available to nearly all investors. Because alternatives tend to behave differently than traditional stock and bond investments, adding them to a portfolio may provide broader diversification, reduce risk, and enhance returns.

We think a useful way to think about alternative investments is in terms of their "contents" and their "containers", where contents refer to the different underlying assets and strategies and containers are the packaging of each investment. Long/short strategies (the “contents”), for instance, can be available in both hedge funds and mutual funds (the “containers”). Ultimately, the contents determine how alternative investments may perform relative to traditional asset classes.

Alternative Investments: Myths & Misconceptions

Explore some of the common myths associated with alternative investing and learn how alternatives can be an integral part of nearly every investor’s portfolio.

Alternative Investment Terms

These definitions are geared toward helping investors more fully understand some of the key concepts associated with alternative investing.

Using the Versatility of Hedge Funds

Hedge funds can bring diversification to a portfolio that is hard to find elsewhere because of their flexibility to employ many different trading strategies and participate in non-traditional markets.

Private Equity Investing: A Driver for Change

A focus on private companies offers the potential for enhanced diversification and returns, since many of the factors that drive public equity markets have lesser or no impact on private equity investments.

The information on this website is intended for U.S. residents only. The information provided does not constitute a solicitation of an offer to buy or an offer to sell securities in any jurisdiction to any person to whom it is not lawful to make such an offer.

Investing in alternative investments presents the opportunity for significant losses, including the possible loss of your total investment. Such strategies have the potential for heightened volatility and in general, are not suitable for all investors.

Investing in alternative strategies such as a long/short strategy, presents the opportunity for losses which exceed the principal amount invested.

Hedge funds may not be suitable for all investors and often engage in speculative investment practices which increase investment risk; are highly illiquid; are not required to provide periodic prices or valuation; may not be subject to the same regulatory requirements as mutual funds; and often employ complex tax structures.

Utilizing private equity involves significant risks along with the opportunity for substantial losses.

Diversification and asset allocation may not protect against market risk or loss of principal.

Please consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses of each fund carefully before investing. The funds' prospectuses and, if available, the summary prospectuses contain this and other information about the funds and are available, along with information on other BlackRock funds, by calling 800-882-0052. The prospectus and, if available, the summary prospectuses should be read carefully before investing.

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* Not FDIC Insured * No Bank Guarantee * May Lose Value

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