Alternative Investments

Program Agenda

A Program Designed To Deliver True Proficiency In Alternatives

Knowledge alone does not necessarily translate into proficiency. In our experience, this is where many traditional training programs – whether online or face-to-face – often fall down. Proficiency requires both knowledge AND the ability to apply that knowledge in the real world situations. Our proven approach is designed to deliver both.

Course 1 - Investing in Alternatives
Course One is a general introduction to the world of alternative investing, including hedge funds. The scope is intentionally broad, touching on a variety of topics including a definition of ‘alternative’ investments and the rationale for using them in portfolios. The course also introduces the participant to important elements of the hedge fund industry, including the product structure, key terms as well as an outcome-based framework to evaluate performance. Specific topics also include:
  • Institutional and Retail trends in alternative investing
  • A macro-based case for using alternatives
  • Historical performance of hedge funds based on outcomes
Course 2 - Portfolio Considerations and Manager Evaluation
Course Two is focused on the statistical measures used to evaluate risk, construct portfolios and evaluate managers. Basic measures and techniques such as standard deviation, Sharpe ratio and Mean Variance Optimization are based on assumptions that have known limitations that can result in misapplications. The goal of Course Two is to ensure that participants understand these limitations and introduce more advanced statistical measures used by institutional investors to evaluate risk, construct portfolios and evaluate managers. Specific topics also include:
  • Limitations of Mean Variance Optimization (MVO)
  • Understanding and measuring asymmetries and tail risk
  • Appropriate metrics to evaluate Hedge Fund managers
Course 3 - Hedge Fund Strategies
Course Three provides an overview of the major strategies employed in hedge funds, including a consistent framework to promote understanding and differentiation. The framework includes an examination of their historical returns relative to stocks including tail risk exposures, environments when the strategy will excel and struggle, major risk exposures as well as a key differentiating concept specific to each strategy. Specific concepts also include:
  • Understanding core hedge fund strategies
  • Explaining risk and setting an accurate return expectation
  • Portfolio impact of adding the strategy
Course 4 - Liquid Alternative Mutual Funds
Course Four links the world of hedge funds to the newer world of liquid alternative (’40 Act) mutual funds. Many of the same strategies employed in hedge funds are present in their liquid alternative counterparts although often with important differences. This course follows the same framework introduced in Course Three to promote understanding and differentiation but applies it to the unique construct/categorization on the liquid alternative fund side. Specific topics also include:
  • Overview of liquid alternatives industry
  • Understanding core liquid alternatives strategies
  • Portfolio impact and setting return expectations
Course 5 - Applying Alternative Strategies in the Portfolio
Course Five links the content from all the previous courses into real-world applications that require the participant to demonstrate the four proficiencies outlined at the beginning of the program. Specific topics also include:
  • Differentiating between strategies based on various risk and return metrics
  • Identifying appropriate strategies based on desired portfolio outcomes
  • Understanding the interaction of strategies in the portfolio

Creating an Internal Certification Program

How it Works

Phase 1 - Educate

We designed our content to focus on what your wholesalers “need to know” versus what is “nice to know.” While a subtle distinction, wholesalers are busy professionals and require that the information is relevant and applicable to their world. Built by industry professionals that understand both wholesaling and the products sold by fund companies, the Program delivers the right content for wholesalers. The online delivery method further allows the wholesaler to incorporate the training into their schedule on an efficient basis as their time permits.

Phase 2 - Translate

This unique phase reiterates key concepts from each course in the online ‘Educate’ phase and then translates the content into specific conversations with advisors. This step is critical because, otherwise, you force the wholesaler to both decipher the education AND translate it into effective conversations. The risk for management is that you lose control of the messaging, resulting in a high dispersion between wholesalers in terms of effectiveness.

Phase 3 - Demonstrate

Proficiency can only be assured through individual interactions and assessment. Our program is truly unique in that it provides a flexible and objective methodology that allows your organization to assess the skills developed as a result of the program. Through the resources and methodologies provided to your managers, or through an assessment process that we can facilitate, our program is the only one that has the focus on outcomes that are directly aligned to your goal – Sales Effectiveness – assuring that EVERY wholesaler has developed the required proficiencies that are vital to his or her success in the field.

Educate, Translate, Demonstrate format may be used to create an Internal Certification Program for advisors as well

Let's Talk

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