The financial crisis which began in mid-2007 has made it clearer than ever to investors around the world that they cannot have a portfolio comprised only of bonds and equities. On the contrary, the need for a well diversified portfolio ranging across various different asset classes has never been more starkly indicated.

This poses problems of implementation, however, since investors lack the knowledge and experience of these specialist areas, which is also surprisingly sparse in the consultancy industry. Even where specialist expertise is available, it tends to be confined to one particular asset type.

It is that need for knowledge that this book addresses, giving readers the pros, cons and practical background to investing in a range of assets, including commodities, gold, energy, forestry, infrastructure, hedge funds, active currency, real estate and private equity.

Endorsed by a number of leading investment figures on both sides of the Atlantic, this book will fill a vital gap on investors' shelves.