Alternative Investing Niches

  • Wall_St_protests_generic_200.jpg

    Socially responsible investing is now one of the fastest growing components of Wall Street, with yields in some cases said to rival non-SRI investments.

  • Last year was a difficult year for the hedge fund industry, with returns down 6.4 percent, but the drop hasn’t stopped experienced professionals from moving away from big investment banks to set up their own firms.

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    With interest rates on savings accounts at record lows and uncertain returns in the stock market, investing in technology start-ups has become increasingly appealing.

  • Abu Dhabi

    With around 140 countries considered frontier markets—regions trading at a 25 percent discount to more popular emerging ones—CNBC explores the best opportunities for prospective investors.

  • Pablo Picasso's "Le pigeon aux petit pois (The Pigeon with Green Peas)" was one of the stolen paintings.

    With a little know-how and a little more cash, investing in fine art and maps could keep your money safe during uncertain times.

  • Glass of Whiskey

    Fine whisky has been part of Scotland’s heritage for more 500 years, but it is only recently that the investment opportunities for its most famous export have become clear.

  • Whiskey bottles

    The second in a series of special investors clinics for CNBC's alternative investment program, Michel Kappen answers your questions on the whisky investment market

  • 100% Natural Hemp Draperies by Kevin Russo EcoManor is the first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified residence in the Southeast and the first to utilize both solar and geothermal energy to power its daily energy use. (Photo by Rick Diamond/WireImage)

    If you thought cannabis investment was only a teenage pastime, think again. Hemp and medicinal cannabis are both tried and tested money-making industries, and both are growing at a fast pace.

  • Barn

    World-class investing gurus such as  commodities kingpin Jim Rogers and hedge fund-luminary George Soros have been fueling demand, repeatedly citing rising demand and shrinking supply.

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    When buying a boat, there is but one fundamental principle to follow, according to those who already have some cash moored somewhere nice: enjoy it.

  • The world’s super yachts are some of the biggest and most expensive toys of the super rich, floating palaces with unique features that can carry price tags into the hundreds of millions. Super yachts are privately owned vessels that are professionally crewed and are found in the greatest abundance in the Mediterranean, Caribbean and the Middle East. Each year,  compiles a list of the largest yachts currently on the water, giving owners the bragging rights of having one of the world’s largest boa

    Each year, compiles a list of the largest yachts currently on the water. Which rank as the largest in 2010? Find out!

  • A worker cleans solar panels at a solar photovoltaic power station under construction in Xining of Qinghai Province, China.

    Investors who care about the environment or believe it’s just a matter of time before the nation’s lawmakers begin to address climate change, have a growing number of green investment options.

  • Stack of U.S. hundred-dollar bills

    Forget the high fees. Given the explosion of ETFs and other financial products, it's possible to create a low-budget, limited hedge fund, providing an alternative to your traditional porfolio mix.

  • Timber investment management organizations own large tracts of timberland like this evergreen forest in Snoqualmie, Washington.

    Timber prices have fallen back to earth, but they outperformed the S&P 500 in a ten-year period, ending in 2007. The easiest way to participate in the growth of trees, sale of wood products and the appreciation of forest land is through a timber real estate investment trust.

  • Super-fine wool-on-silk carpet from Tabriz, Iran. Measures 8m x 5m and retails for S$500,000 ($383,267).

    A look at the luxurious world of Persian premium carpets - how to invest in and protect these fine-woven rugs.

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    Many companies have adopted sustainable practices and technology, realizing that consumers prefer doing business with environmentally responsible companies.

  • Space Shuttle Atlantis

    It’s no secret that the global economy is in trouble, so if you’re bored of the world of stocks and bonds and feel the tedium of a slowing market, the time may have come to explore whole new world of investment: space travel.

About Niches

  • If you don't want to stray too far from traditional stocks and bonds, this group keeps you closer to the street than others, but remains new territory for many.