Travis Miller, CEO of iPartners is The Alternative Asset guru, an absolute fiend for finding, unearthing and getting in early on unexpected investing.

Travis has worked in financial markets for the last 17 years, most recently as Managing Director at UBS Investment Bank, and today he manages over $5bn in funds. His coup de gras may’ve been by disrupting the industry a bit by creating a financial investment platform to make high-yield alternative investments easily accessible to the ordinary punter with an eye for the alternative.

His new book, Grow Your Wealth Faster with Alternative Assets, explores this further and is out this month via Wiley Publishing and available on Amazon et al.

In this exclusive walk through, Travis accepted the Stockhead challenge to explain – the WTH, the HTF and the WHY WLD I anyway – when it comes to choosing the investment path less traveled…

Investing in a private market

Alternative assets are any investment outside of listed stocks, bonds, and term deposits. Alternatives can broaden investor’s portfolios, adding greater returns and diversifying risks. There is a wide cross section of assets that fall into the alternatives classification, they include private credit, private equity, real estate, infrastructure and agriculture.

Alternatives are private market investments, meaning they are not listed on an exchange, such as a public company which is listed on a stock exchange.

Instead, private market assets are generally held in units in a unit trust, as a segregated investment vehicle which gives investors a pure exposure to the underlying asset and its returns.

Whilst investing in alternatives has always been significant for institutional investors and family offices, improved access in recent years for private investors has significantly broadened the investor base. Preqin’s Future of Alternatives 2025 survey found 81% of investors said they expect to increase allocations to alternatives.

In fact, Preqin estimate alternative assets under management to experience the fastest growth in the Asia-Pacific region with a compound average growth rate of 25.2% in the five years to 2025.

In recent years access to alternatives has improved with investment platforms such as iPartners providing wholesale investors the opportunity to build a portfolio of alternative assets across managed funds and single asset investment opportunities.

Cut out the volatility in your life

One advantage of alternatives being private market investments is they generally come with a lower level of price volatility when compared to public market investments. Whilst an exchange listed investment comes with daily liquidity, it is also subject to the daily price volatility that comes from the exchange. Public market investments in alternatives do not change in value daily, however they still have a periodic valuation process to ensure the asset remains appropriately priced.

Successful investments in alternatives are more about getting access to high quality assets at the right price, than they are about timing a market. This provides investors the ability to invest consistently into new opportunities that have been sourced, selected, and structured by the team at iPartners when they are made available, without having to feel like they need to closely watch daily price volatility of the general markets.

The capacity of alternative investments to provide diversity is one of the key reasons investors are moving to them.

According to CFA Institute research, diversification is the most effective approach to decreasing portfolio risk. Alternative assets, such as real estate, commodities, private credit, private equity, and hedge funds offer significant diversification and can assist balance across an investment portfolio.

Promising Returns

Even during the pandemic, alternative sectors including real estate and commodities offered potential positive returns. According to Preqin, the average return on real estate investments in Q1 2021 (in the midst of pandemic lockdowns) was 1.7%, compared to -0.4% for the S&P 500 index. Private equity has also outperformed public markets in recent years. Investors might potentially increase their profits by diversifying their portfolios with alternative assets.

Unique opportunities

Alternative investments can give investors access to unique investment possibilities that are not available through regular investing. Whilst alternatives can come with lower levels of liquidity, for the investor with a medium-term outlook, illiquidity premiums available in the returns of alternatives can be highly beneficial to investors. The ability to take exposure to assets that would normally be only available to large institutional investors is a great benefit in alternatives.

Hedge against inflation

Inflation can have a substantial negative influence on real investment returns. Inflation eroding the purchasing power of money, makes it critical that investors find measures to hedge against it. Alternative assets can act as a hedge against inflation. Some assets tend to perform better during inflationary periods, making them an excellent alternative for investors trying to preserve their returns.

Many investors seek investments that can provide stable sources of income, particularly as they seek to build out a portfolio that will provide them a passive income stream towards as well as through retirement, or simply now as a supplement to their current working income. Many alternative investment opportunities, particularly in the private credit sub-sector, provide regularity of income monthly.

The consistency of income streams, combines with the lower volatility in the unit prices to provide investors with a smooth investment journey.

Make your own case

Alternative investments may entail some risk, but with adequate research and due diligence, investors can make informed selections that can result in significant profits.

According to a recent study conducted by UBS, 57% of those polled are contemplating expanding their allocation to alternative assets.

The unpredictable economic environment in 2023 with economic growth slowing and rates higher makes alternative investments an appealing option for investors wishing to diversify their portfolios.

As with any investment, thorough study and due diligence are essential for making educated investment decisions.


Travis Miller, author of Grow Your Wealth Faster with Alternative Assets, is co-founder and CEO of iPartners, a leading Australian alternative asset marketplace with approximately $5B in funds under management. He is passionate about improving access to alternative asset investments and educating everyday investors about a broader range of investment options.

The views, information, or opinions expressed in the interview in this article are solely those of the writer and do not represent the views of Stockhead.

Stockhead has not provided, endorsed or otherwise assumed responsibility for any financial product advice contained in this article.