Alternative investments are too big an area for investors to ignore these days, and for that reason they feature prominently on the CFA exam. In this course, we will cover alternative investments at a high level across the landscape. We will talk about the different types of alternatives, the benefit to a portfolio if used properly, and since alternative investments can be expensive, we will cover the fee structure as well. Finally, we will wrap up with some tips and points to remember when taking the exam.

Learning Objectives
  • Discover hedge funds and private equity investments, including, as applicable, strategies, sub-categories, potential benefits and risks, fee structures, and due diligence.
  • Explore real estate, commodities, infrastructure, and other alternative investments, including, as applicable, strategies, sub-categories, potential benefits and risks, fee structures, and due diligence.
  • Explore potential benefits of alternative investments in the context of portfolio management.
  • Discover, calculate, and interpret management and incentive fees and net-of-fees returns to hedge funds.
  • Recognize and understand high level strategies for dealing with Alternative investment questions on the CFA.
Last updated/reviewed: August 12, 2023

Included In Certifications

This course is included in the following Certification Programs:

11 CoursesCFA Level 1 Preparation Certification Program

  1. CFA Level 1 Prep: Introduction to the CFA Exam
  2. CFA Level 1 Prep: 1 - Ethics and Professional Standards
  3. CFA Level 1 Prep: 2 - Quantitative Methods
  4. CFA Level 1 Prep: 3 - Economics
  5. CFA Level 1 Prep: 4 - Financial Reporting and Analysis
  6. CFA Level 1 Prep: 5 - Corporate Finance
  7. CFA Level 1 Prep: 6 - Equities Markets
  8. CFA Level 1 Prep: 7 - Fixed Income
  9. CFA Level 1 Prep: 8 - Derivatives
  10. CFA Level 1 Prep: 9 - Alternative Investments
  11. CFA Level 1 Prep: 10 - Portfolio Management
4 Reviews (25 ratings)


Anonymous Author
I learned from this course various types of alternative investment products, including hedge funds, private equity and venture capital, commodities, real estate, and the advantages and disadvantages the investors encounter while investing in the alternatives.

Member's Profile
I took this course for the CPA CPE's and work in the alternative investment space. I do not know if the depth of the material would be helpful for the CFA. For my purposes it was a very high level review of the Industry. I did enjoy the presenter.

Anonymous Author
Great course to either learn about the basics of alternative investments, or to complement your CFA studies.

Anonymous Author
i wish it explained more into each type of fund and why

Course Complexity: Advanced

No advanced preparation or prerequisites are required for this course. However being part of a series, you may consider taking all related courses in sequence:

Education Provider Information
Company: Illumeo, Inc., 75 East Santa Clara St., Suite 1215, San Jose, CA 95113
Contact: For more information regarding this course, including complaint and cancellation policies, please contact our offices at (408) 400- 3993 or send an e-mail to .
Instructor for this course
Course Syllabus
  Hedge Funds9:46
  Alternative Investments14:46
  Alternative Investors8:06
  Performance Fees in Alts5:58
  Test Taking Strategies for The Alternative Section2:38
  CFA Level 1 Prep: 9 - Alternative Investments41:14
  Slides: CFA Level 1 Prep: 9 - Alternative InvestmentsPDF
  CFA Level 1 Prep: 9 - Alternative Investments Glossary/ IndexPDF