Alternative investments often require a certain level of patience as many of these assets lack the liquidity inherent in the public markets. However, there are several benefits associated with taking a long-term approach by investing in illiquid alternatives. Pretty much anything that does not fall within the definition of traditional stocks and bonds can be loosely categorized as alternative investments. The more common illiquid alternative investments many are familiar with are venture capital, private equity, hedge funds and fixed-income products.
Source: Sang Lee, The Huffington Post