Alternative Investments

Modified: September 13, 2010

Alternative investments are assets that are not listed on any national exchanges or over-the-counter markets, or for which quoted market prices are not available from sources such as financial publications, the exchanges, or the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations System [NASDAQ]). These investments generally do not fall under any federal or state regulator and have greater flexibility in investment strategies than registered investment companies.

The following are examples of types of alternative investments or investment strategies used by benefit plans:

  • Bank collective investment funds
  • Pooled separate accounts
  • Stable value investments
  • Private equity funds
  • Hedge funds
  • Real estate investment trusts
  • Funds of funds

Tools and Resources

EBPAQC Primer, Alternative Investments in Employee Benefit Plans
The Center has developed this primer to provide Center members with a general understanding of alternative investments held by employee benefit plans.

PCAOB Staff Audit Practice Alert No. 2, Matters Related to Auditing Fair Value Measurements of Financial Instruments and the Use of Specialists  

Issued December 10, 2007, this alert highlights certain requirements in the auditing standards related to fair value measurements and disclosures in the financial statements and certain aspects of GAAP that are particularly relevant to the current economic environment.

EBPAQC Stable Value Investment Resource Center

Find general information about stable value investments, and links to authoritative literature, a primer, and past center calls related to those investments.