Definitions for "Alternative asset class"
a class of investments that includes private equity, real estate, and oil and gas, but excludes publicly traded securities. Pension plans, college endowments, and other relatively large institutional investors typically allocate a certain percentage of their investments to alternative assets with an objective to diversify their portfolios.
A term commonly used to refer to non-traditional assets (versus traditional assets like stocks, bonds and cash) such as hedge funds, managed futures, real estate, private equity and collectibles (such as art, coins, wine, etc). The diversification benefits of adding alternative investments to traditional portfolios are due to the low correlation of alternative investments to traditional investments.