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Antique cars, wine, pigs: This year's top alternative investments

Nicole Goodkind
Nicole Goodkind

Vintage wines, antique cars and in-vogue art – these all made the annual list of Bloomberg Markets Magazine’s top alternative and exotic investments. Not all alternative investments, however, are created equal, and they do tend to change in value from year to year. Devin Banerjee, U.S. investing reporter with Bloomberg, joined Yahoo Finance to discuss.

“We’ve seen antique cars do very well,” he says, “with 40% gains in the antique cars index.”

Related: Classic Cars: The Best 'Alternative Investment' of All

Wine, however, has lost value this year, but Banerjee points out these are averages and there are still outliers. A 2004 wine made by Château Pavie, a wine maker from the Bordeaux region of France, has a 24.1% three-year annualized return. But in general, wine has seen a -9.6% three-year annualized return.

When it comes to collecting art, there has been talk of a bubble in the market. Contemporary art has seen a -64.2% one-year return, but for some artists, “values have done very well,” says Banerjee. Marcel Duchamp’s art has made a 465% one-year return, for example.

There are also some alternative assets, according to Banerjee, that are best to be avoided. Hedge funds as a group have had trouble outperforming the market.

“Hedge funds are now a huge industry, with $2.8 trillion in assets on average. ... They haven’t done very well, and people I speak with argue that there may be too many hedge funds," he says.

Commodities such as gold have also showed poor returns this year. Gold’s one-year return is -19.5%.

“As the equity markets have done well, investors have pulled back from safe havens,” says Banerjee.

One upside surprise has come in the form of lean hogs, which provide most of the pork in the United States and returned 56.3% this year.

Banerjee gives one warning to people who are interested in these alternative investments: “These investments are really for people with ultra-high net worth.”