How the Wealthy Invest

Most affluent Americans buy into alternatives.

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Nearly three fourths of affluent households (those with $1 million or more of investable assets) hold a so-called alternative investment, according to research by the Phoenix Cos. Real estate is the most widely held alternative (about 45 percent), followed by exchange-traded funds (nearly 30 percent), hedge funds (around 25 percent), and private-equity funds (more than 20 percent). About half of those investors say they'll continue to invest the same amount or more in the coming year.