Alternative investment strategies including private equity, hedge funds and absolute return, have doubled since 2005 into a $7.2 trillion worldwide category, according to McKinsey, the consulting firm. While institutions surveyed by McKinsey held one quarter of assets in alternatives, individuals hold only 3% on average.

Now, a wave of new products created for individual investors in the form of "liquid alts," mutual funds and ETFs opens new vistas for investors and new challenges for advisors seeking to master the widening field.

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