The End Of Alts? | Aaron Filbeck

The world’s most sophisticated investors are moving beyond the concept of “alternative investments,” to focus instead on the risk/return profile of each investment’s underlying asset class.

Aaron Filbeck, managing director and head of UniFi at CAIA, joins Andy Hagans to discuss why investors need to move beyond the superficial label of “alternative investment,” plus how CAIA is helping to address the industry’s education gap.

Watch On YouTube

Episode Highlights

  • Why sophisticated institutional investors are shifting how they view “alternative investments,” and it’s no longer about “alts,” per se.
  • How to view alts in the context of a portfolio in a way that serves the client’s (or any investor’s) best interest.
  • Why risk/return profile is arguably more important than asset class when evaluating alternatives for portfolio construction.
  • How CAIA is helping to address the alts education gap within the wealth management space.
  • Details on CAIA’s new fundamentals program, and how investors and advisors can sign up.

Today’s Guest: Aaron Filbeck, CAIA

About The Alternative Investment Podcast

The Alternative Investment Podcast is a leading voice in the alternatives industry, covering private equity, private credit, venture capital, and real estate. Host Andy Hagans interviews asset managers, family offices, and industry thought leaders, as they discuss the most effective strategies to grow generational wealth.

Listen Now

Show Transcript

– [Aaron] Maybe the headline is that alternatives are no longer alternative in a portfolio. As you think about the evolution of this industry and the evolution of the space within alternatives, we’ve gone from what once was a very concentrated group of hedge fund strategies just 20 years ago representing roughly $5 trillion U.S. dollars, 6% of the total investible market to a very diverse set of individual strategies and industries. 

[music] [Andy] Welcome to the show, I’m WealthChannel co-founder Andy Hagans. You know, one thing that we’ve learned in the past year is even when the market goes on a bull run, it doesn’t mean that all is well for investors as a whole. 

In this country, we have a huge educational gap and behavioral gap in the world of finance and investing. So even, you know, when we have this bull run, not everyone participates. Not everyone is invested in the stock market. Beyond the bull run for stocks, it’s also been an interesting year for alternative investments. 

Alts, they’ve been on a huge bull run, really, for several years now. And really in the past year or two, there’s been dislocation in the commercial real estate market and also dislocation in some other alternative asset classes. Meanwhile, you have asset classes like private credit that are just on this tear that are the hot new thing. So we’re standing at this crossroads, and my question is, what action should investors and should advisors be taking to position our portfolios for this market environment? 

And how can we as investors, and for any financial professionals listening, what can we do to help address this behavioral gap and education gap that we have in investing? To discuss these issues, joining me today is Aaron Filbeck, Managing Director and Head of UniFi at CAIA. 

Aaron, welcome back to the show. 

– Great to be back, Andy. I’m excited to have a discussion and congrats on all the success of the podcast. 

– Yeah. And right back at you. I mean…it’s been, the last time we talked, it was February of 2023, doesn’t that just feel like a lifetime ago? 

– It sure does. Yeah. A lot has happened since then. 

– Yeah. In the markets and at…a lot has happened, and we’ll get to that. I know we have a lot to discuss, but to begin, I want to start with a big question. Aaron, in your view, what is the most underreported story right now in the world of investing, in the world of finance? 

– Yeah. Well, I think it’s an important question. It’s a good question. I’ll probably focus more on alternatives, which is where we’re focused as an association. Maybe the headline is that alternatives are no longer alternative in a portfolio. As you think about the evolution of this industry and the evolution of the space within alternatives, we’ve gone from what once was a very concentrated group of hedge fund strategies just 20 years ago representing roughly $5 trillion U.S. dollars, 6% of the total investible market to a very diverse set of individual strategies and industries that have become institutionally adopted at the largest asset owners, endowments, foundation, sovereign wealth funds and so on. 

And many of these strategies have become a core part of many of these institutional allocations. Now, that may be a little bit different when we get into the wealth management channel, which we can talk about. But many of these strategies are industries in their own right. They are large, you know, pieces of the portfolio depending on the objectives of the institution and really become a core piece of that allocation. 

So really that alternative term is more of an umbrella, more than anything that groups a lot of these strategies together. But you even mentioned a couple of them. Some didn’t exist 20 years ago, and today we’ve got many that are kind of full-blown institutionalized strategies. 

– So, Aaron, if I’m hearing you right, basically it’s the case that with the largest, most sophisticated investors, what were previously, you know, we all called them alternative investments, we can no longer consider them to be alternative investments if they’re a core part of the portfolio, and for some of these asset classes, they have been now for decades. 

Is that right? 

– Yeah. You know, labels can vary depending on how you look at a portfolio. But if you look at some of the most sophisticated asset owners the largest endowments in sovereign wealth funds, pension funds as well, many of them have kind of moved beyond what was the traditional bucket, traditional equity, fixed income, cash, and then this alternatives bucket where they just kind of threw a bunch of stuff together over in that corner of the portfolio, and hope for the best. 

Many of these institutional investors have kind of moved beyond that and are thinking more thoroughly about the risk exposure that they’re introducing to the portfolio. So, for example, private equity and public equity are both equity ownership in a company. It’s just done differently. 

There’s different structures around the ownership of that particular company. And so, as you think about putting together a portfolio makes a little bit more sense to put private equity and public equity in the same conversation. Now, there’s complexities associated with private equity that aren’t necessarily found in public equity whether it’s illiquidity or it’s the lifecycle, whether it’s venture growth, buyout, etc. 

But at least from a philosophical portfolio construction perspective, putting those at least in the same conversation seems to be where a lot of those institutional investors are moving their thought process when it comes to allocation. 

– That is so interesting. I mean, because the term alternative investment, that label, it’s always been a little bit awkward to begin with, right? Because it includes some disparate asset classes, like, you know, for instance, commercial real estate and private credit. But the big reason that they…alternative investments were alternative investments were because they were illiquid, right? 

Was because they weren’t publicly traded, but your point is, the main risk with an equity investment may not be how it’s traded, whether it’s illiquid or traded on an exchange, or increasingly in alts you have sort of semi-liquid or intermittently liquid products. The main thing about that is what it’s holding, what’s inside the wrapper, whether it’s liquid or illiquid wrapper, is an equity, and equities have their own risk, right? 

Beyond an aside and distinct from how they’re traded. And that’s now how these largest investors are looking at it, that they’re sort of putting the wrapper aside and saying, “What’s really under the hood? This is an equity.” So whether it’s a private equity or publicly-traded equity, you know, a stock, it belongs in that equity slice of our portfolio. 

Is that right? 

– Yeah. And I don’t want to discount all those complexities that are on top of the exposure. But when you get down to the true exposure in a portfolio, you’re exactly right. You know, equity is equity. Credit is credit. Real assets is probably one of the best examples where we have publicly traded and privately traded assets that are very similar. 

It’s just really the vehicle that’s there. So it’s not that we should ignore those complexities, and whether or not that’s the illiquidity of the asset or the wrapper around it, it’s the risk-return profile that you see from some of these strategies. All of that’s very important. But when you think about just kind of basic portfolio construction thinking in terms of those risk drivers and risk-return profiles it makes a little bit more intuitive sense than putting private equity in a completely different category than what you might be in your public equity allocation. 

– So then if I’m an everyday investor, or an advisor with clients who are everyday investors, rather than allocating 20%, you know, like the 60/40 portfolio, 60% stocks, 40% bonds, all the buzz was, this is now the 50/30/20, you know, 50% stocks, 30% bonds, 20% alts. 

And in a way it’s like, well, that’s progress. That’s evolution, that’s a good thing, you know, I’m a fan of alts, I think in the right context, you know. Not a blind fan, but I am a fan. But even that 50/30/20, it’s not really a good lens, right? Because to your point, you’d sort of be saying, “I’m going to allocate 20% to these types of wrappers or these types of things that are generally illiquid,” but that doesn’t really capture their risk-return profile, right? 

Because the 60/40, the sort of science or logic behind that was on blending two asset classes that usually if one’s zigged the other’s zagged, and they, you know…so that whole 50/30/20 thing, it kind of breaks down, doesn’t it? 

– Yeah. To some degree. Yeah. And that correlation, we’ll just ignore 2022, you know, for correlations. Not a big deal. Nothing happened that year. But I think you’re right, and I think the question is what makes up that 20%? 

And are you starting with that as a target allocation, or is that kind of the residual of how you design the portfolio? And it just so happens that 20% of whatever stuff you put into the portfolio becomes, you know, alternative. I think maybe a more intuitive way to look at this is if you take 60/40 as an example, and 60/40 is just one allocation of many. 

It is kind of the conventional wisdom of a moderately aggressive portfolio, but even that is just one way of doing it. But if you take that 60/40, think more about what’s in that 60 and what’s in that 40, and if there are pieces of the 60/40 that may need to be carved away for other things, that’s when the allocation might shift. 

But your 60% allocation could be a combination of public equity and some private equity. Same with your fixed income allocation with some private credit, maybe real estate debt gets sprinkled in there, some equity hedge funds gets put into the equity allocation. So again, thinking about that risk exposure that you’ve put into the portfolio and kind of slicing through each of those allocations to match the risk exposure. 

But I think just a blind kind of 50/30/20 or 60/20/20, or you know, whatever allocation you come up with, if the assumption is that that 20% is just a combination of venture capital, equity market neutral, you know, private credit and infrastructure, well, that’s just kind of throwing everything in one category without really giving a lot of thought to the risk, but also to what you’re trying to accomplish in the portfolio. 

– So it sounds to me like more sophisticated investors, institutional investors folks with, your education all of your knowledge, the more sophisticated finance set, they understand this. They understand that private equity is intrinsically linked or maybe belongs in a bucket with public equities just as much as it belongs with alternatives. 

Are advisors, are retail investors, are everyday investors are they there yet, or is there…to ask an obvious question, is there an education gap there? 

– Well, yeah. I think maybe the indirect way of answering the question, I think that we’re at different starting points with the institutional investor, the institutional allocator, and then the wealth management channel. And I think the most obvious difference here is that the institutions have been at this for a much longer time period, and thus have built up substantial allocations to many of these strategies. 

So, you know, average allocation for an institution might be 30%, 40%, maybe even up to 50% or 60%, depending on the objective of the institution. When you look at the average high-net-worth individual portfolio, that allocation is somewhere around 5%. So we’re starting from a very low, kind of, allocation and base in a portfolio. 

So I think it’s less about are they doing it wrong? It’s more about the question of do they even know where to, kind of, start and where to start integrating? So we’re almost at a really interesting opportunity in the wealth management space to start the conversation at ground zero. 

Instead of changing the way that we think about alternatives, it’s more about that integration and where do I take my existing 60/40 portfolio and start to carve out some of those pieces where appropriate. 

– And Aaron, to your point then, I mean, I feel like you’re given a whole new sales pitch. I know you’re not selling anything, but a whole new pitch for alts in general, which is, if I’m an advisor and I am speaking with that client, and it’s really our first conversation about alternatives, it’s no longer, you know, “Hey, we should consider a 10% or whatever x percent allocation to alternatives.” 

It’s more, “Let’s design this overall portfolio.” And then within some of these risk-return profiles, for instance, equities, there are some sexier ways to own equities that maybe are a little further along that risk-return profile, but that’s a good thing to include in a responsible way. So it really is kind of reframing this whole discussion. 

It’s no longer about alternative investments per se. Is that right? 

– Yeah. And I think you’re exactly right. It almost takes the scariness out of…well, what are these alternatives that you’re trying to throw in my portfolio becomes much more of a conversation. And again, we’ll use examples of equity. Well, you’ve got this equity risk or this allocation that we’re trying to include in the portfolio. That’s going to include the large mega-cap stocks like your Apples and Amazons and Metas of the world. 

We’re also going to include some earlier-stage companies. You know, we’re trying to find the next Uber or Snapchat. And so you’re getting exposure to the earlier part of that lifecycle of an equity. It just happens to have illiquidity, there’s more risk associated with it, and you need to go in eyes wide open with that. 

But you’re just exposing yourself to a broader set of companies that aren’t in the public markets. Same thing with the credit space. You know, the fixed-income market is certainly very big and has a lot of depth to it, but there are portions of the economy that are getting access to loans through the private credit industry. And so, if you’re not exposed to private credit, you may be missing pieces of that from an economic perspective. 

So it’s really just kind of broadening the tool set instead of, you know, using the scary term alternatives and kind of throwing it all in one bucket. 

– Yeah, that makes sense. Well, maybe putting on even different hats. So on the one hand, we have these institutional investors who are at this very different starting point. They’ve been investing in alternatives for 20, 30, sometimes 50-plus years. And in many cases, they’re rethinking alts. 

They’re no longer alts, now they’re a core part of the portfolio. To your point in the wealth management space, now, we have a lot of advisors with clients who have no allocation to alts, or very little, which in a way could be a good thing because you’re starting fresh, right? 

You’re not having to sort of reset the conversation, you’re really still starting the conversation. And to your point, maybe there’s a better way to start that conversation. What about a retail, like what about my mom, right? Does she need alts in her portfolio? You know, does the median investor in, you know, on Main Street with X hundred thousand dollars or, maybe a million in their retire, you know, they’re just hit retirement and they’re kind of at that median or 60th or 70th percentile. 

Do they even need to bother with any of this? 

– Yeah. It’s a really, really good question. And I think it’s an important one because one, it depends on the client situation. But I would say at a high level, no, not everyone should be in alternatives. It depends on the client’s financial plan, their tolerance for liquidity, their ability to take on illiquidity in their portfolios. 

If you’re a retiree and you’ve got to pull 10% out of your portfolio every single year to, you know, pay your bills, then maybe alternatives aren’t the right solution for you, particularly when it comes to taking on illiquidity risk. So I think from a client perspective, it really depends on the plan, but overall, it’s going to be more appropriate for some, not appropriate at all for others. 

But it really depends. The other way to answer that, I think, and this is an important one, is if you’re an advisor and you’re serving these clients, you also need to take a look at your own organization and your ability to one, select the managers. Because we all know in the alt space that manager selection is crucial. The dispersion between top-quartile and bottom-quartile managers is very wide and that wideness varies depending on the asset class. 

But can you, as an advisor, either outsource through a platform or through your investment team, select the appropriate manager to have a good outcome in your client’s portfolio? And coupled with that, can you actually set up your operations within your firm to handle things like capital calls and documents that need signatures and kind of build an operational business around this as well? 

So there’s a lot of things that need to be rethought from the advisor’s perspective. But it all starts with the client, “Are my clients actually appropriate for this?” And it really depends on the plan. So I don’t know your mom, but you probably know that situation better than I do, but it really depends. 

– Well, but I love that your answer is not an automatic, yes, right? And your organization educates advisors and professionals about alternative investments, and it’s very refreshing, you know, that honesty, that forthrightness that you’re saying, “No. Not everyone needs alternative investments.” 

And, you know, one thing, another thing I really have appreciated about CAIA, and about you, Aaron, and just other folks from your organization that I’ve interacted with, is the emphasis that you consistently place on the end client. You know, just that sort of ethos of being fiduciaries, and we need more fiduciaries in the financial industry, just period. 

And at the end of the day, if this is helping folks achieve a worry-free retirement, then we’re doing our job. And if it’s not doing that, then it’s kind of like, why does this whole edifice even exist, right? So that focus on Main Street I love, but, you know, your area of coverage is alternative investments. Has there been enough decompression in alternatives? 

Because at the end of the day, as an investor, that’s often my complaint is there’s these different asset classes that I want to invest in, that I want to own, but then I’m always comparing it to Vanguard, and I’m going, “Well, I can buy the S&P through Vanguard.” What is it? Is it now like three basis points per year? It’s almost free to own most of these liquid asset classes. 

And I know there’s been some fee compression in alternatives, but has there really been enough? Because when I’m looking at the institutional investors who invest, I’m going, “Well, yeah,” but they get special deals, essentially, right? They get OGP, or GPLP deals. So does this end up with the sort of everyday investor or the accredited investor, do they end up getting, you know, the bad end of the stick? 

I might be mixing metaphors here. Is it worth it for us? 

– Yeah. It’s another really good question. And in terms of fees, so there has been a little bit of fee compression. It has certainly not been to the extent that we’ve seen in the long-only active mutual fund space, for example, where we’ve seen quite a bit in the allocations. There are a couple things I’ll say. 

One, you know, when you look at a lot of these strategies I think there will always be somewhat of a premium to what you see in the long-only equity or fixed-income space. For a couple reasons. Many of these GPs are very hands-on with these organizations. It requires a lot of sourcing and diligence. And it’s more than just kind of a passive ownership of a couple of shares in a particular security. 

So there is a hands-on component. Many of the best GPs take a more operational lens to the portfolio companies that they own. And so that requires expertise, patience, etc. So I think there will always be some kind of a premium associated with that. 

What that premium looks like, I don’t have my crystal ball to see where those fees end up. So that’s one angle. Where I think we have seen a little bit of innovation and some fee compression is on the availability of different vehicles that are available particularly to the accredited investor or high-net-worth individual through some more semi-liquid, more regulated fund structures like interval funds, tender offer funds, where typically when they’re registered, you’re not allowed to charge performance fees or incentive fees, for example. 

So really it’s an all-in management fee that you’re charging. So at some point, and we’ve seen a little bit of this, where these regulated vehicles, which may operate a little bit differently than a traditional drawdown fund structure might, those fees have actually become a little bit more competitive especially as new people enter the space. So I think all of that is just maybe important background. 

The last thing I’ll say on fees is, and this is true in active management on the traditional side as well, is really paying attention to net returns. So fees may be higher on some of these asset classes, but typically you’re earning either excess returns or even just high absolute returns. 

And so I think always focusing on what you’re paying, that’s an important piece of the conversation, but also figure out what you’re getting in terms of the actual returns that you’re getting for your clients. 

– Price is what I pay value is what I get, right? 

– Exactly. 

– Yeah. I mean, to put it in concrete terms, then, if the bond fund pays 5% a year and the private credit fund pays 10% a year, maybe it’s a little bit further out on the risk-return profile, but it’s not so much more risky that would, you know, that it would be generating that much of a delta in return. 

And so then when you say, “Well, this private credit requires active management,” and maybe that’s 150 basis points, you can kind of weigh that whole big picture and say, “Okay,” but even after that 150 basis points, this is yielding 8.5. You know, or… 

– Sure. Yeah. 

– So that makes sense to me. You know, back in the beginning of this episode, I brought up talking about not every investor has even participated in this bull market. And then, you know, we talked about a lot of investors, even financial advisors, don’t really understand alternative investments, aren’t really using those much, if at all, in client portfolios. 

And so my question about the education gap here that we have, the whole country and the whole industry, it’s both, it’s among everyday investors and among financial advisors. Three-word question, is it hopeless? 

– I don’t think it’s hopeless. I think there’s hope at the end of the tunnel, Andy, when it comes to integration and adoption of alternatives where appropriate, going back to that question on client appropriateness. I do think there is an education gap in this space and an education gap, not in the sense of we need more people to adopt alternatives. 

We just need people to ask better questions of the products that are being put in front of them. And that’s where CAIA has really come into the fold with this UniFi platform that we launched a couple years ago. Where we basically got together a group of people in our advisory council that we brought together asset management, some of the biggest global banks, some of the RIAs in the industry, and really thought through, if we can get all three of these groups to speak the same language, understand the language of the client, the objectives of the client, all the way from product creation down to the advisor that’s serving them, that’s a win for the industry. 

And hopefully, and I think the net result will be, adoption increases but it also will help people avoid making bad decisions within their portfolios. So we’ve created a number of programs on the UniFi by CAIA platform, which are geared towards teaching asset management, distribution, financial advisors at global banks, and the RIA space about one, what are these strategies, how do they work, what’s the risk-return profile? 

What can we expect? But importantly, how can we think about integration into a portfolio? Going back to the very beginning of this conversation, it’s not some other piece of the portfolio that doesn’t have any relation to the rest of it. 

We should be thinking in terms of those risk-return drivers and slotting them in accordingly. 

– And that’s framing the whole conversation in the right context, right? Which is… 

– Exactly – …client outcomes. So I understand you’ve launched a new fundamentals program, or is it a designation or credential? it’s sort of a course that I can take online, is that right? 

– That’s right. Yeah. So just last week, early January, we launched a completely redesigned fundamentals of alternative investments. It’s certificate. It’s an online course that you can sit through. There’s no letters after your name, but you certainly get a certificate of completion, a digital badge that you can share on LinkedIn. 

But basically, we’ve taken one of our certificate programs that’s been around for about a decade that was really geared towards helping people, particularly in the wealth management space, understand the 101 of alts. So the early edition of this certificate program, walk through hedge funds, private equity, real assets, some structured products in there as well. 

And so by the end of it, you can at least have a good foundational understanding of these different strategies. We’ve had about 12 to 13,000 people go through that certificate since inception. But to have launched this new edition of this certificate, which I’m very excited about, which was really the work of not only CAIA, but this advisory council in the industry at large. 

We had a lot of players that help us think through the learning objectives of the modules, the way that we position alternatives in the industry with representatives on those three groups, asset management, the global banks, and the RIA space that truly by the end of this program, it is a, for the industry, by the industry certification experience. 

The program is 15 hours and really walks through the foundations of alternative investments. One of the unique characteristics, going back again to the earlier conversation of the curriculum, is that we’re actually grouping alternatives according to their risk-return profile. 

So there’s no module on private equity, or hedge funds, or private credit. We’re actually breaking up the universe into those component parts of what’s really driving this particular strategy. And so you’ve got a module that includes venture capital alongside long-short equity, direct lending alongside mezzanine finance, alongside long-short credit, all the different real assets, whether it’s real estate, infrastructure, commodities, and so on. 

And then we’ve got kind of all the other alternative strategies that might move in different directions or might borrow risk-return profiles from some of the other categories, like a global macro or a managed futures insurance-like securities, digital assets, and so on. So that by the end of this program, you not only have a good understanding of the history and the why behind alternatives, how you access them, but also how do you kind of fit all of these different various strategies into a portfolio where appropriate. 

– You know, Aaron, one thing that I love about what you said, how that program came into being was meeting with all the different stakeholders, all the different touch points in the industry, whether it’s wealth management or fund managers, banks, you know, because that shows to me you’re making an effort to use the language that people are already using and sort of really getting into the minds of the professionals who will use the program and your future students and tapping in to even just the language that they’re already using. 

That’s so powerful in designing curriculum or in educational leadership because to your point, or to CAIA’s mission, like, if we don’t have a common language to even discuss these things, we are literally at step zero, right? Or step negative one, maybe. 

– Right. And hopefully, that language is the language that the client is expecting. And that’s an important thing, starting with the individual investor, the client, and working our way backwards. So if we can actually teach everyone to speak that language of the client, then that conversation becomes very clear. 

– I love it. And you know, that addressing the education gap with alternative investments, really with finance as a whole, that’s a huge…it’s just a huge job. It’s almost overwhelming in a way, but at the same time, I really appreciate what CAIA does and just really at the ground level, addressing it one person at a time. 

I mean, at the end of the day, that’s the only way it gets solved, or that gap gets bridged, right? One person at a time. 

– Yeah. Exactly. That’s our mission. That’s what we’re trying to do. 

– So you all, you know, you mainly work with advisors, wealth managers, industry professionals, educating them, whether it’s with your prestigious designation or some of these more courses, more short-term programs. But I keep thinking, well, educating the wealth managers probably, like, in a way that may be the most important thing in terms of the retail investor, because that’s where the retail investor interacts really with the finance industry in many cases. 

But how concerned should we be about that retail investor’s education gap? You know, in terms of… Because you’ve seen financial advisors, right, kind of at that grassroots level. You’ve talked with hundreds, maybe thousands of them. Like, what keeps you up at night? 

What’s maybe the still the biggest blind spot or the thing that makes you go, “Yeah,” like, you know, that is the thing that we need to fix to really serve retail investors as an industry? 

– Well, I think it’s the importance of the advisor that, you know, because the retail investor does interact with this industry, typically through that relationship, we really haven’t gotten to a place in an industry there. 

There’s exceptions, of course, where the individual investor can directly invest in private equity, for example. Typically you’re going through an advisor who’s usually a fiduciary looking out for the best interests of the client. And so, I don’t know if it keeps me up at night, but I think it just, it reinforces the importance of the role of financial advice, the role of a financial advisor. 

And from our perspective, if we can articulate the pros and cons, the do’s and don’ts of alternatives to that advisor who then can communicate it to the client, I think we’ve done our job. 

But I think that’s a constant evolution of education. I don’t think you can just do it once and then, you know, you’re done for 15 or 20 years. So it’s a constant conversation that we should be having. But again, if we can get distribution teams and asset managers to speak to the advisor in a certain way, and then the advisor to speak to a client in a certain way, that gives me a lot of hope. That gives me a lot of optimism. 

– I like it. I love the optimism and I think it’s necessary, right? Because it’s a tough job, right, trying to address that education. It is, it’s a big, huge Perry job. So you need that can-do attitude, which you have that I very much appreciate it. I know we’ve sort of said, we said at the beginning of the episode, alternative investments are dead. 

They’re no longer a thing, you know, they’re really just core investments. But that being said, I also want to learn about alternative investments. I want to enroll in the new program. I’m guessing…is it open to individual investors as well as wealth managers? 

– Yeah, so there’s a couple of ways you can access the programs on UniFi, Fundamentals, of course, being one of them. Anyone on our website can enroll in the program. So it’s available to individuals. All you need is a credit card to go through that process. We also work, and a vast majority of what we do with UniFi in particular is we work with a lot of institutions and corporate enrollments as well. 

So if you’re a large asset management, you know, team, our distribution team, you’ve got a large team of financial advisors, we can work with you directly. And there’s information on our website to come up with some corporate enrollments for the program as well. But it’s both pathways are available depending on who you are and whether or not your team needs it, or you just need it as an individual. 

– Awesome. And we’ll be sure to link to that in our show notes, which are always available at Aaron, we’re almost out of time but I know we have a lot of institutional investors, financial advisors, all type, and even individual investors who might be interested about in this new program in our audience. So we’ll make sure to link to that in the show notes. 

But where can anyone go to connect with you personally, just on LinkedIn or…because I know you do a lot of public speaking, you’re on a lot of podcasts and things like that. Where can they connect with you personally? 

– Yeah, I’m on LinkedIn. I’m on Twitter, I guess X now. So you can look for me on either platform and send me a connection, send me a message. Happy to talk. 

– Okay. You’re on Twitter. I’m making a note, Aaron, because I got to follow you on… I still call it Twitter. Come on. We can call it…we can still call it. People know what we mean when we say Twitter. 

Aaron, thanks again for coming on the show today. 

– Thanks for having me, Andy. Great conversation.

Andy Hagans
Andy Hagans

Andy is a co-founder of WealthChannel, which provides education to help investors achieve financial independence and a worry-free retirement.

He also hosts "WealthChannel With Andy Hagans," a podcast featuring deep dive interviews with the world’s top investing experts, reaching thousands of monthly listeners.

Andy graduated from the University of Notre Dame, and resides in Michigan with his wife and five children.