Beyond Stocks and Bonds:Learning about Futures, Options, Derivatives, and More


Alternative Investments Information
Private Equity-venture Capital-real Estate And Hedge Funds

John Ganly
Assistant Director for Collections
Science, Industry and Business Library
New York Public Library


Alternative investment has a long and checkered history. Prior to the adoption of the phrase by the banking industry, such diverse commodities as tulip bulbs, orchids, and beanie babies were looked upon by some as a valid alternative investment.

Formalization of the concept resulted in a loose definition based on the idea of movement beyond the traditional stock-bond-commodity investment market. In its most formal sense tangible opportunities to invest in real estate, provide venture capital and speculate in unquoted company shares using a banking intermediary sums up the idea. Private Equity is a term adopted to encompass much of the alternative investment activity when it extends to involvement in limited partnerships or venture investment by companies or individuals who are referred to as "angel investors."

The following is a brief overview of the progression of formal private equity investment in the U.S.

  • American Research and Development (ARD). Pioneer organization promoting alternative investment. 1940’s
  • Venture capital organizations become a reality for wealth management opportunities. 1950’s
  • Small business and the emergence of minority owned business prompts the government to enact. The Small Business Investment Company Act. 1958
  • Opportunities for investment under the Small Business Investment Company Act multiply. 1960-1970’s.
  • Limited partnership legislation opens new avenues for investors. 1960’s
  • Pension fund investment regulation changes permit wider investment by these bodies. 1970-1980’s
  • .com bubble, stock market crash and scandals chill alternative investment activities. 1990’s
  • Hedge fund involvement becomes part of the alternative investment mix. 2000’s


Alternative Investments


  • Alternative Investment Management Association Limited. AIMA.
  • Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst Association. CAIA.



  • Corporate Venturing Directory & Yearbook. Asset Alternatives. Annual
  • Directory of Alternative Investment Programs. Asset Alternatives. Annual
  • Directory of Limited Partners: Investors in Private Equity and Other Alternative Asset Funds. Securities Data Publishers. Annual


  • Journal of Private Equity. Institutional Investor. Quarterly
  • Private Equity Analyst. Asset Alternatives. Monthly
  • Private Equity Week. Investment Dealers Digest. Weekly
  • Private Placement Letter. Securities Data Publishing. Weekly


Venture Capital




  • Galante’s Venture Capital & Private Equity Directory. Asset Alternatives. Annual
  • Pratt’s Guide to Private Equity Sources. Thomson Financial/ Venture Economics. Annual

Hedge Funds




  • Directory of Registered Investment Advisors (Index under Hedge Funds). McGraw-Hill. Annual
  • Hedgeworld Annual Compendium. Hedgeworld Limited. Annual
  • U.S. Offshore Funds Directory. U.S. Offshore Funds Directory. Annual


Real Estate




  • Corporate Finance Sourcebook. National Register Publishing. Annual
  • Directory of Institutional Real Estate. Nelson Information. Annual
  • Directory of Real Estate Financing. Crittenden Publishing. Annual
  • Directory of Real Estate Investors and Buyers. Crittenden. Annual
  • Nelson’s Directory of Institutional Real Estate. Annual

Market Reports


  • Briefings in Real Estate Finance. Henry Stewart Publications. Quarterly
  • CMBS World. Commercial Mortgage Securities Association. Quarterly
  • Journal of Real Estate Portfolio Management. American Management Society. Bi-annual.
  • Real Estate Finance. Institutional Investor. Quarterly
  • Real Estate Finance & Investment. Institutional Investor. Weekly
  • Real Estate Finance Journal. West Group. Quarterly
  • Real Estate Financing Report. Crittenden Publishing. Weekly Newsletter
  • REIT Bulletin. Crittenden. Bi Monthly
  • Real Estate Portfolio. NAREIT. Bi Monthly


Alternative investments are a dynamic investment group and it creates such a media buzz. Nexis, Factiva and Bloomberg are important databases for tracking developments in this area. Financial publications such as Institutional Investor and trade journals for the real estate industry frequently do special issues devoted to rankings for players in the alternative investment area.

bullet Beyond Stocks and Bonds: Learning about Futures, Options, Derivatives, and More
BRASS Program, ALA Annual Conference, June 27, 2005

Disclaimer : This publication has been placed on the web for the convenience of BRASS members. Information and links will not be updated. Posted 14 September 2005.