When it comes to Scotch whiskey, ingenues are first served the blends. They're mellower, easier to handle. As palates develop, drinkers move onto the single malts -- each with their own distinctive profile.
As the whiskey industry, so goes liquid alts.
is an example of one such firm offering single alts, so to speak. The La Jolla, California-firm currently offers seven alt funds. The firm plans to launch two more funds this year, single-manager versions of two strategies previously offered in multi-manager versions.
, executive vice president and managing director of global sales and consulting for Altegris, explained his company's thinking in this way:
We have built out this wheel of strategies, long short; fixed income, long short real estate; global macro; fixed income. These strategies were previously built out in multi-manager products. We aim to fill out all of those with a single manager.
We still believe in multi-manager, it gives investors the best risk profile. However, not all investors want that broad diversification. Some are willing to take more risk with a single manager. This is our bread and butter, we know these managers very well. It is an easy add to our platform. We already have the bandwidth, it makes a lot of sense to find those single managers that are well worth it.
A key advantage of single manager products is that they have lower costs structures and expense ratios than multi-manager products. Pfister says that like in everywhere else in the industry, the alts market is experiencing price pressure from advisors.
Of course, the buyers of these single alts will be slightly differently from those wading in with the multi-manager products. Single alt connoisseurs are comfortable with the higher level of risk that comes with single manager products, and often mix and match such products to make their own blends.
Meanwhile, Altegris is experiencing no shortage of alt shops who want to serve up bottles of their investments in '40 Act Country.
"We still have a large footprint in hedge funds, which are the feeding ground for our '40 Act funds. Managers who would never have talked to us five years ago, who wouldn't touch '40 Act, are now reaching out to us, regularly," Pfister said.
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