Investor Education: Investing in Alternative Strategies


PODCAST January 6, 2020

Nicola Wealth


Show Summary:

Host Ethan Astaneh speaks with Nicola Wealth Portfolio Manager, Ben Jang, who manages the Alternative Strategies fund.

Together, Ethan and Ben discuss what investing alternative strategies means. Ben not only gives listeners a high-level summary of this lesser understood asset class, but also provides tangible examples and weaves the high-level understanding with the tactical strategies being employed — ultimately, providing listeners with better clarity into how Nicola Wealth’s money in this fund is being invested.


Key Takeaways:

[:33] About today’s episode!

[1:02] Ethan welcomes Ben Jang on to the podcast.

[1:20] What is the role of alternative strategies in a portfolio? What is it trying to achieve?

[3:02] Ethan and Ben recap the role of alternative strategies in a portfolio.

[3:31] Within the alternative strategies category, it is a bit of a melting pot. Ben gives a rundown of the different strategies within it starting with a multi-strategy hedge fund strategy.

[7:45] What a global macro strategy is.

[8:10] Ben explains another type of strategy with the alternative strategies category: an event-driven strategy.

[12:57] Ben explains what future funds are (which are another strategy within the multi-strategy fund).

[15:13] How are these types of investments generally delivering their returns? Are these investments generally paying a regular cash flow or is the value fluctuating up and down?

[16:50] Generally, are these types of investments trying to behave like fixed income where, regardless of the form of the investment income, they’re trying to deliver some form of cash flow?

[17:35] In the current market environment, how does Ben, as a Portfolio Manager, determine how much Nicola Wealth should have in each of the strategies?

[22:33] When Ben is vetting managers, is he looking for alignment in his world view or is he looking diversification rather? And how tactical is he trying to be when picking these groups?

[23:42] Ethan and Ben highlight the importance of trusting your group of managers’ processes as the environment is always changing.

[25:14] Ethan thanks Ben for joining the podcast!


Guest Bio

Ben Jang

Ben joined Nicola Wealth in September 2012 with extensive experience working for several multi-billion dollar investment management firms focusing on global equity, GTAA, and market neutral funds. Most recently, he was on the institutional portfolio management team of a Vancouver-based firm and was responsible for quantitative strategies and optimization of portfolios.

For his full bio, visit: NicolaWealth.com/Our-Team/Ben-Jang


About Your Host — Ethan Astaneh

Ethan is a Financial Advisor in the firm’s Vancouver office. He provides strategic advice to high net worth business owners, professionals, and retirees, and offers his clients a wide range of financial services, including; retirement income planning, business succession, and continuation planning, investment management, tax and estate planning, charitable giving, and intergenerational wealth transfer.

For his full bio, visit: NicolaWealth.com/Our-Team/Ethan-Astaneh

For More Information on this Week’s Episode, Visit:




This presentation contains the current opinions of the presenter and such opinions are subject to change without notice. This material is distributed for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal, accounting, tax or specific investment advice. Please speak to your NWM advisor regarding your unique situation. Forecasts, estimates, and certain information contained herein are based upon proprietary research and should not be considered as investment advice or a recommendation of any particular security, strategy or investment product. NWM fund returns are quoted net of fund-level expenses. Past performance is not indicative of future results. All investments contain risk and may gain or lose value. Projected returns are estimates only. Returns are not guaranteed. NWM is registered as a Portfolio Manager, Exempt Market Dealer and Investment Fund Manager with the required provincial securities’ commissions in Canada.

At the time of recording, the following securities mentioned in this episode are held by Nicola Wealth:

      • Royal Bank
      • TD Bank
      • Home Depot

Mention of these securities is not a recommendation to buy or to sell.