Access to alternative investments have never been easier, but some VCs don't think that's a good thing

Access to alternative investments have never been easier, but some VCs don't think that's a good thing
Christie’s Images Limited 2022

Welcome back! Dan DeFrancesco here in New York.


Today we've got stories on why Gen Z might be in trouble with its finances, how SBF spent his fortune, and some cool photos of the moon.

But first, what's your risk tolerance?

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1. Democratizing alts

Would you like to invest in a hedge fund? How about with a private-equity firm? Perhaps a high-end piece of art is more your speed? Or maybe a vintage bottle of wine?

For most everyday investors, these aren't realistic opportunities. Those investments — commonly referred to as alternatives — are only for the wealthy and institutional investors.

However, in the same way fintechs have disrupted so many aspects of finance, startups are changing the game when it comes to who gets in on alts.

Fintechs are helping to democratize access into these assets either via fractional shares or pooling money together, lowering the typically high bar investors need to clear to jump in.


But is that a good thing?

According to some venture investors, not necessarily. Insider's Asia Martin spoke to some VCs who were skeptical about startups broadening access into these risky, illiquid assets.

As Asia outlines in her story, it's not so much about wanting to bar access to these assets. Instead, it's about making sure retail investors aren't pushed into something complex that they know nothing about.

It's a common dilemma in fintech, as Asia pointed out to me, as access often takes precedence over education. Simply put: Letting someone do something in finance is oftentimes more important than letting someone know what they are doing in finance.

I'm sure some of you reading this will find this all patronizing. "Surprise, surprise. Rich people don't want the middle class getting in on their investments."


And I get it! There is something to be said for treating adults like adults and letting them make their own decisions and mistakes.

But what happens when things go south? Maybe your money in that PE fund is locked up longer than you expected? Or perhaps that piece of art doesn't appreciate in value the way you thought? Will you take your lumps and walk away? Or will you plead ignorance and complain that you didn't know what you were getting into?

Click here to read more about opening up access to alternatives and why some VCs are questioning it.

In other news:

Access to alternative investments have never been easier, but some VCs don't think that's a good thing
A portion of the far side of the Moon looms large the day Orion makes its close approach, November 21, 2022.NASA

2. Turns out all the financial advice on TikTok isn't panning out. Missed credit-card payments have recently risen among Gen Zers', leading one New York Fed researcher to point to it as a potential red flag. Here's more on why Gen Z could be in trouble.

3. As activist campaigns ramp up, here's the folks who read the fine print. We mapped out the 13 lawyers either supporting or defending against activist funds. Check out our entire list.

4. Here's how SBF spent all his money. From political donations to sports teams, this is everything the FTX founder spent money on.

5. These are all the startups your tech folks want to work with. We asked top VCs to identify the best startups that help developers build apps for the cloud. Here's our list of 11 promising DevOps startups.

6. Tough times at Credit Suisse. The Swiss bank has seen clients pull out their money amidst a critical juncture for the firm, The Wall Street Journal reports.


7. Curious why your luggage gets lost on that business trip? We spoke to a ramp agent at LAX who works for a major airline about how your luggage gets tracked and what happens when it gets lost. Read more here.

8. AQR's Cliff Asness sounds off. After a tough go of it, his hedge fund is minting big returns amid a market downturn. He spoke to Bloomberg about everything from his issues with the private markets to his dust up with the meme-stock world.

9. Don't tell the bankers, but this guy hopes the $25 billion Kroger-Albertsons deal doesn't happen. Paul Constant, a writer at think tank Civic Ventures, makes the case for why the deal won't be good for shoppers or employees at either chain. Read his take here.

10. The far side of the moon. In the type of mission that would make Pink Floyd proud, we've got some cool photos from NASA's Orion Spaceship, which is cruising around the moon. Check them out here.

Keep updated with the latest business news throughout your day by checking out The Refresh from Insider, a dynamic audio news brief. Listen here.


Edited by Jeffrey Cane (tweet @jeffrey_cane) in New York and Hallam Bullock (tweet @hallam_bullock) in London.