77% of Americans Interested in Alternative Assets

More than three-fourths of Americans familiar with retirement accounts are interested in investing their individual retirement accounts (IRAs) in alternative assets.

Despite the interest, 44% do not understand how to achieve that goal, according to opinion research from PENSCO. The PENSCO Market Barometer, which polled investors and high-net-worth advisers, also found that eight in 10 advisers say their clients are interested in investing in alternative assets, but only 10% of the advisers offer that capability.

The research also found that two-thirds of advisers say that investing in alternative assets can build wealth for clients, and 82% of advisers expressed interest in providing this option to clients. Investors and clients agree that the top alternative investments are real estate, precious metals and private equity.

PENSCO conducted the research with San Francisco-based Koski Research. The firm polled 1,000 people across the country from February 6 to 10, 2012, and 365 financial advisers with more than $10 million in assets under management from February 7 to 17, 2012.