Learning About Alternative Asset Types | Schwab - Millennium Trust Company
Millennium Alternative Investment Network

Learning About Alternative Asset Types

Know Your Alternatives

Alternative investments such as those you can access through our network of investment platforms can bring greater diversification to your portfolio. What holds many of today’s investors back is simply lack of knowledge of alternatives and how they can be held in an IRA. The good news is, it’s getting much easier to close that information gap.

Let’s start with the basic types of alternative assets and how they are structured.

Private Equity/Debt

Private equity comprises investments in private companies — often in new companies with the potential for substantial growth. New investment platforms are making private equity accessible at lower minimums than previously available to the individual investor. An important caveat: private equity is often illiquid, which means there isn’t necessarily a ready market in which to exit the investment at any given time. Your financial advisor can help sort out how each private investment winds down and the costs involved versus the potential upside.

Private Debt

Private debt offers distinct advantages in a low return environment so many investors are including it in their portfolio to lift returns and provide stability.

Hedge Funds in Self Directed IRAs

Self-directed IRAs provide the type of benefits that many investors are looking for, such as tax advantaged savings and flexibility.

Private Placement Investment Timeline

This timeline provides a guideline on how long it takes to open, fund, and invest if you choose to hold a private placement in your account.

Marketplace Lending

Marketplace lending is an emerging tool that matches investors with borrowers via online platforms. It can include various types of loans — including consumer, small business and education — as well as real estate.

Trends in Marketplace Lending

Brief history of marketplace lending and the current state of this rapidly evolving market before offering an overview of some key industry trends and topics.

Crowdfunding Marketplace

New investment opportunities presented by crowdfunding are becoming a disruptive force.

Real Estate

Perhaps the most familiar alternative asset class, real estate investments range from direct investment in a property to pooled investment vehicles, real estate investment trusts (REITs) or alternative platforms that may offer investors further diversification and potentially less risk. Generally providing investors with steady income and higher yields than traditional fixed income, real estate has a low correlation with other asset classes — when the stock market is down, real estate can continue to thrive, making it a valuable diversification tool.

Real Estate in Retirement Accounts

Investing in real estate for the purpose of growing retirement wealth or turning retirement savings into income is becoming more popular.

Investing in Real Estate Using Your Self Directed IRA

Real estate has become an increasingly popular investment in building a diversified portfolio. Watch this brief video to learn more about holding real estate in a self-directed IRA. 

Real Estate Investment Timeline

This timelines provides a guideline on how long it takes to open, fund, and invest if you choose to hold Real Estate in your account.

Managed Futures

Managed futures invest across a broad spectrum of asset classes with the goal of achieving solid long-term returns while reducing overall portfolio volatility. Managed futures have generally achieved strong performance in both up and down markets, employing short-selling and options strategies that potentially allow them to profit even in down markets.

Futures Trading IRA

Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) offer investors options to further diversify their retirement holdings by allowing investments in a wide range of asset types.

Futures Investment Timeline

This timeline provides a guideline on how long it takes to open, fund, and invest if you choose to hold Futures/Forex in your account.

Precious Metals

Commodities such as precious metals tend to have low or negative correlation to traditional equity markets, so when markets are volatile or down, commodities can provide stability. Investors can trade commodity futures or use a managed futures fund.


A multi-strategy fund is a type of hedge fund or private pool of capital whose managers can buy or sell virtually any asset. Although they resemble mutual funds, such funds are not regulated in the same manner. Traditionally limited to large investors such as institutions and individuals with substantial investable assets, multi-strategy investments now are available to a much broader range of individual investors.

Exploring Investment Platforms

Technology is having a transformative effect on our daily lives, and the alternative investment industry is no different. Investing in alternative assets has historically been a cumbersome, paper-centric process. The Millennium Alternative Investment Network is designed to change that with simplified processes available through the various investment platforms.*


Want To Open An Account?

Meet your investment goals and save for the retirement you want. Our self-directed IRAs give you the control and flexibility you need to manage your own diversified portfolio of both traditional and alternative assets.

Open Account

*Millennium Trust Company performs the duties of a directed custodian for IRAs and other custodial accounts. Millennium Trust does not undertake any due diligence for you, including on the Platforms listed on MAIN, their prospective investments or any other investments you select to hold in your Millennium Trust account. The information on each Platform was provided by that Platform. Millennium Trust is not affiliated with any Platform, investment sponsor or investment available through MAIN. The inclusion of any Platform, investment sponsor or investment option on MAIN in no way represents an endorsement or recommendation of the Platform, investment sponsor or any of their investment options, and Millennium Trust does not recommend or endorse any such Platform, investment sponsor or investment. The Platforms, investment sponsors and investment options available through MAIN are not a complete list of investment providers or investments that you may choose to hold in a Millennium Trust account, and are provided for informational purposes only. As a directed custodian, Millennium Trust does not offer or sell investments or provide investment, tax or legal advice. Investors should perform their own due diligence on any investment opportunity, and should consult their own investment, tax and legal advisors before making any investment decision.