10 Best Alternative Investment Platforms (For Wine, Art, Gold & More)

by Anthony Zhang

For investors with an appetite for risk, alternative assets can be an exciting way to diversify their portfolios. Offering potentially outsized returns, alternative investments serve as an excellent complement to traditional assets like stocks and bonds. 

The best part is - alternative investing has never been easier. Institutional investors used to have free reign, but intelligent alternative investment platforms have made many of these assets more accessible than ever. 

Let’s take a detailed look at the different types of alternative investment platforms and 10 best ones to check out today.

Further reading

Types Of Alternative Investment Platforms


Traditionally, alternative investment opportunities have been few and far between for most retail investors. While alternative investing isn’t a new concept, certain investments have gained popularity. 

Here are some of most popular alternative investment options: 

  • Wine 
  • Whiskey
  • Artwork
  • Cryptocurrency 
  • Collectibles 
  • Venture capital
  • Emerging markets 
  • Distressed securities 
  • Foreign currency
  • Real estate 
  • Commodities 
  • Derivatives 
  • Private equity 
  • Hedge funds

Note that each of these investments tends to be riskier than traditional investments. Each has its own risk factors, liquidity, and potential returns. 

However, almost every fund manager, asset manager, financial advisor, or investment advisor abides by the same piece of investment advice: including an alternative asset class or two is an integral part of a sound investment strategy. 

Next, let’s take a closer look at some alternative investment platforms: 

10 Best Alternative Investment Platforms You Must Explore

Here are 10 popular alternative investment options: 

1. Vinovest: Fine Wine Investing

Vinovest is a leading wine investment platform that lets you invest in sought-after wines from all around the world, whether you’re looking for a classic Nebbiolo, Chardonnay, or a rare Screaming Eagle.

With Vinovest, investors have access to the world’s finest wines at their fingertips. 

Why invest in wine? 

  • Over the last 15 years, wine has provided an average annual return of 10.6%
  • Aside from being a status symbol, fine wine is a remarkably stable investment, offering consistent returns year after year. 
  • Investment-grade wines are scarce, making up less than 0.1% of the world’s total wine production. 
  • Wine is also effective for diversifying a portfolio, given its low correlation with traditional assets. In fact, the Liv-ex Fine Wine 1000, which tracks 1,000 wines worldwide, has a correlation of just 0.12 to the S&P 500 Index. 
  • Wine is also recession and inflation-resistant. For over 100 years, wine has outperformed stocks, precious metals, and art. While the Covid-19 pandemic turned the stock market upside down, investors flocked to more stable investments, like wine. 

How Vinovest works: 

  • Step 1: Begin by signing up on the platform. All you need is your name, email, and password.
  • Step 2: Fill out a short questionnaire. This helps Vinovest’s wine experts determine your investment style: conservative, balanced, or aggressive. 
  • Step 3: Fund your account. Vinovest requires a minimum investment of $1,000.
  • Step 4: Customize your portfolio. Vinovest’s AI will use your answers in the questionnaire to recommend ideal investments for you. 
  • Step 5: Watch your account grow while enjoying a glass of wine!

Benefits of investing through Vinovest: 

  • Competitive pricing: The platform sources wines directly from winemakers, global wine exchanges, and reputable merchants at wholesale or below retail prices. 
  • Wine expertise meets AI: Vinovest’s Master Sommeliers combine their expertise with quantitative investment models to curate your portfolio, aided by Vinovest’s algorithm. 
  • Professional storage and security:  Vinovest has a worldwide network of state-of-the-art storage facilities. These facilities are under 24/7 surveillance and ensure optimal humidity, temperature, air quality, light, and vibration levels. 
  • Only authentic wines: Vinovest goes to great lengths to trace the wine’s provenance and verify its authenticity.
  • Low overall costs: Vinovest charges a 2.5% annual fee (reduced to 1.9% when your balance exceeds $50,000.) This would cover buying and selling wine, fraud detection, storage, insurance, and portfolio management.
  • Ownership: You have complete ownership of every single bottle you buy through Vinovest.
  • Easy to buy and sell your wines: Vinovest’s AI-powered platform makes it easy for you to buy and sell fine wine at any time. However, the best time to sell your wine is after 5-20 years (when it has reached its peak value.) 
  • Our advisors will help you choose the right time to sell, maximize your returns, and navigate all forms of market conditions. They’ll guide you on the best liquidity options too.

2. Fundrise: Real Estate Investing


Historically, the high investment minimums, long timelines, and lack of liquidity have meant retail investors were excluded from a real estate investment. 

Now, everyday investors can benefit from a real estate investment opportunity through fractional ownership.

Platforms like Fundrise are called Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs). Much like a mutual fund, investors buy shares in the REIT. With Fundrise, you invest in “core plans” that spread your money across a range of institutional quality real estate. 

After investing, you begin earning quarterly dividends and asset value appreciation. And the potential returns are tempting. 

The average annual return for all Fundrise clients was 22.99% in 2021. Fundrise has paid out more than $160 million to over 210,000 active investors. 

Why invest in a REIT?

  • Portfolio diversification: REITs offer the potential to spread your money across a range of real estate, helping spread risk. Further, a real estate investment has a minimal correlation with the stock market. 
  • Long-term performance: Real estate is an inherently long-term investment option. REITs provide the means to earn passive income through consistent dividends.

Benefits of investing through Fundraise:

  • Low investment minimums: Fundrise has a minimum investment requirement of just $10. 

3. Yieldstreet: Invest In A Variety of Alternatives


Yieldstreet provides accredited investors with access to hedge funds and debt investments across a range of private market deals, including real estate, commercial, marine, legal, and art investments. 

Since its inception in 2014, Yieldsteet’s net realized annual returns (IRR) is 10.6%, with over $1.3 billion in total principal and interest paid to investors. 

Yieldstreet’s Prism Fund, which invests in art, corporates, real estate, and more, is available to every investor. 

Why invest in debt?

  • Potential for solid returns: Debt funds attempt to optimize returns by investing in various assets.
  • High liquidity: For short-term investors, the asset class offers a greater level of liquidity, allowing investors to cash out should they need to. 

Benefits of investing with Yieldstreet:

  • Backed by assets: All investments on Yieldsteet are supported by an underlying asset, such as real estate, marine vessels, or a legal settlement. 
  • Open to non accredited investors: You don’t need to be an accredited investor to benefit from Yieldstreet’s Prism Fund. This fixed income portfolio allows all investors to benefit from alternative assets.

4. Wefunder: Investing In Crowdfunding Startups


Venture capital is a subset of private equity, which involves investing in startup businesses in the private market. It’s a high-risk investment option, but the potential upside can outweigh these risks. 

Wefunder is an alternative investment platform offering non-accredited investors the opportunity of investing in startups they feel strongly about. 

How investors earn and how long they can expect to wait before seeing a return depends on the type of investment contract.

This, coupled with the high-risk nature of the investment, means returns, if any, can fluctuate. That said, Zenefits, a company providing corporate benefits to remote teams, provided a return multiple of 281.68X.

Why invest in P2P lending? 

  • Potentially lucrative: Generally, P2P lending offers a competitive rate of return. 
  • Various risk levels: Investors can choose between investments that fit their risk profile. 

Benefits of investing through Wefunder:

  • No account minimums: There’s no investment account to fund. Instead, you invest through bank transfer, check, credit card, or wire transfer. 

5. P2P Lending


Peer-to-peer lending, or P2P lending, involves lending money to individuals or businesses. 

Prosper is an investment platform allowing investors to manually find and invest in loans or use the Auto Invest tool to invest in loans meeting their criteria. 

The platform requests payments from borrowers on the day they are due. Investors then receive the pro-rata portion of their income in their Prosper account within 1-2 days. 

Since loans have different payment due dates, investors holding multiple notes will receive passive income through continuous payments. 

Prosper has provided average historical returns of 3.5% to 8.9% across all loans on the platform.

Why invest in startups?

  • Tremendous upside: The return on investing in a small business that skyrockets can be immense. 
  • Diversification: Investing in companies operating in other markets can serve as an good means of diversifying.

Benefits of investing through Prosper:

  • Low minimums: Prosper offers personal loans from qualified borrowers for as little as $25 per Note. 
  • Tax advantages: Investors can enjoy tax breaks when investing with their Individual Retirement Account (IRA). 

6. Masterworks: Investing In Artwork


Art is another alternative investment no longer reserved for the wealthy, asset managers, and institutional investors. Anyone interested in a real asset like art can now diversify their portfolio with the help of Masterworks.

Masterworks is an alternative investment platform offering fractional ownership in some of the world’s finest art pieces. 

Once purchased, the investment platform holds the art piece for 3-10 years. Upon sale, all investors with a stake in the art receive their pro-rata proceeds. 

Alternatively, there’s a secondary market where the individual investor can trade shares.

Why invest in art?

  • Minimal correlation: Art has a correlation of 0.19 with the stock market. So even if your stocks are underperforming, your art investment should perform better. 
  • Art appreciates with time: Art tends to see a steady rise in its value with time. With patience, art investments can offer healthy returns.

Benefits of investing through Masterworks:

  • Affordable investments: While minimums fluctuate depending on the piece, you can invest in $20 increments.
  • Potential for high rewards: Historically, Masterwork pieces have appreciated by between 12% and 20%.

7. Vaulted: Investing In Gold


Gold has long been lauded as the definitive hedge against inflation. This is primarily because it has successfully preserved wealth for thousands of years.

However, holding physical gold bullions comes with unique challenges and costs. Vaulted is a gold investment platform that handles gold manufacturing, certification, storage, and insurance. 

Investors earn as the gold price appreciates and when cashing out. All gold is certified 99.99% pure and bears the Royal Canadian Mint’s hallmark and an imprint certifying the weight and fineness.

Why invest in gold?

  • Inflation hedge: Gold is seen as an excellent hedge against inflation as the gold price tends to rise with the cost of living. 
  • Limited supply: Since the 1990s, most gold sales have come from the vaults of central banks, which began slowing in 2008. Additionally, gold production has been steadily declining since 2000. 

Benefits of investing through Vaulted:

  • Safe and secure storage: The bars are stored at the Mint’s vault and are insured against theft, damage, and other losses.

8. BlockFi: Invest In Cryptocurrency


Bitcoin’s meteoric rise in 2010 and the subsequent returns are well known. While that’s unlikely to happen again, crypto remains a solid alternative investment for the individual investor.

BlockFi is a cryptocurrency investment platform allowing users to buy and trade digital currencies. BlockFi also offers several unique features: the BlockFi Interest Account, paying interest on crypto holdings, and the Rewards Credit Card, which earns crypto on purchases.

Why invest in cryptocurrencies?

  • Long-term store of value: Unlike paper money, many cryptocurrencies have a finite supply, capped by mathematical algorithms. This limited supply ensures the asset class can’t lose value from inflation. 
  • Potential for high returns: The unique supply and demand dynamics surrounding cryptocurrencies can result in sizable returns. 

Benefits of investing through BlockFi:

  • Use your crypto as collateral: BlockFi allows users to borrow money at rates as low as 4.5% APR using their crypto as collateral. 
  • Earn interest: Simply store crypto on the platform, and BlockFi pays a standard rate depending on the currency and the amount held. 

9. Collectable: Invest In Sports Memorabilia


Sports memorabilia is a real asset with a history of decent returns. However, when a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card sells for $5.2 million, it’s tough for retail investors and sports enthusiasts to benefit from this alternative asset.

Enter Collectable. The platform allows anyone to purchase fractional shares of some of the most iconic items in sports history. 

Collectable sources and curates rare and valuable items before filing an offering circular with the SEC. Investors can then buy shares for as little as $5 and choose to benefit from long-term appreciation or trade their shares on the secondary market.

Why invest in collectibles?

  • Strong demand: Sports items often strike an emotional chord with their investors. People are willing to drop serious money for a game-worn jersey or a signed baseball card from their favorite player. 
  • Solid return potential: The PWCC500 Index, which tracks trading cards, has consistently outperformed the S&P 500 since 2008. 

Benefits of investing with Collectable

  • Low investment minimum: Their offers vary in price, but many sell for as little as $10. 
  • Secondary market: Collectable’s secondary market significantly improves the liquidity of these assets as you can cash out at almost any time.

10. FarmTogether: Investing in Farmland


Farmland is an alternative asset with a long history of producing solid returns, primarily through land appreciation and crop yields or rental payments. 

FarmTogether is a crowdfunding platform offering agricultural real estate. Once invested, there are two ways to earn: cash from operating yield and gains from the sale of an asset.

You need to be an accredited investor to use the platform, though there are plans to provide investments for non accredited investors. 

Why invest in farmland? 

  • Long-term growth: Over the last 50 years, American farmland has risen in value by roughly 6.1% a year, with only five down years. 
  • Inflationary hedge: Farmland benefits from inflation since it improves the land value and crop income.

Benefits of investing through FarmTogether: 

  • Lower minimums: FarmTogether requires a minimum investment of $15,000, which is considerably lower than other commercial real estate deals.

Time To Explore Some Of The Best Alternative Investment Platforms!


Alternative investment platforms have made it easier for more investors to access a greater range of alternative investment opportunities. While these alternative investments offer potentially lucrative returns, they aren't without their risks. 

As an investor, it's crucial that you do the due diligence before making any investment. 

Vinovest is a leading wine investment platform that lets you invest in sought-after wines from all around the world, whether you’re looking for a classic Nebbiolo, Chardonnay, or a rare Screaming Eagle.

Now, if you’re looking for a traditionally stable investment, wine remains a strong contender. Simply sign up with Vinovest to explore this sought-after investment opportunity right away! 

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