Citizen Mint

Citizen Mint


The Decline of the 60/40 Portfolio & Top Alternative Investments

The 60/40 portfolio, or 60% stocks and 40% bonds, has been a keystone of financial planning for the last five decades given its ability to weather numerous market cycles. Unfortunately, the portfolios underlying characteristics have changed over time that has resulted in it being less effective during market disruptions. 


The 60/40 has been successful in the past as a result of being able to benefit from appreciation of stocks over decades and protection from the bond portfolio which has performed well in downturns such as the dot-com bust and the global financial crisis in 2008-2009. However, 2022 was a very different story with stocks and bonds having their highest correlation over the past decade. This led the 60/40 portfolio having one of its worst years since 1937.

Factors that have led to the 60/40 being less effective include:

  1. Stock Market Volatility & Concentration: Stocks have become more volatile over the last two decades as investors and large institutional investors reallocate capital rapidly during times of market disruptions causing greater downside moves compared to history. Further, concentration in major indexes has increased dramatically and much of the return of stocks can be contributed to a few big names in the market (i.e. Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, etc.).  

  2. Changing Correlations: Traditionally, stocks and bonds have had a negative correlation, meaning that when one asset class performed poorly, the other tended to perform well, providing diversification benefits. However, the negative correlation between stocks and bonds has weakened or become more positive in recent years leading to limited protection during market volatility. 

  3. Evolving Investment Landscape: The investment landscape has evolved, with new asset classes gaining prominence. Alternative investments such as real estate, private infrastructure, private equity, and private credit have attracted attention from investors seeking to diversify their portfolios beyond stocks and bonds. These alternatives may offer better risk-return characteristics compared to the traditional 60/40 allocation.

With the advent of new strategies and services, such as Citizen Mint, access to alternatives has increased significantly over the last few years. As a result, advisors should be looking for ways to diversify clients portfolios beyond traditional assets classes leading to better portfolio diversification and portfolio outcomes. 

What’s the opportunity in alternative investments?

We have witnessed many investors question how diversified their portfolios are in traditional asset classes like stocks and bonds given highly correlated returns more recently. This has led them to seek diversifying alternatives in the private markets space where they can seek to reduce portfolio volatility while also enhancing returns. Compelling opportunities we are seeing within the private market space include:

real estate alternative investments

Private Real Estate

Private real estate is a great diversifier for portfolios that can provide many benefits over multiple market cycles. Benefits of the category include:

  • Inflation Hedge: During times of rising prices, rents and property values tend to increase.
  • Defensive: Certain real estate assets can be highly defensive during times of economic stress. These usually include mobile home parks, affordable/workforce multi-family housing and self-storage.
  • Attractive Distributions: Income distributions to investors from certain real estate such as residential, commercial and industrial can be attractive and usually ranges between 4-7% a year.
While many are concerned about commercial office and industrial assets at the current point in time, multifamily continues to be an under-invested opportunity in the US as housing affordability continues to be incredibly challenging. Review current  investable opportunities in this space by clicking HERE.
alternative investments

Infrastructure Assets

Infrastructure assets provide essential or necessary services, have long useful lives and generate cash flow and earnings that vary minimally through market cycles. An example could include renewable energy assets such as solar or wind power that sign 20-to-30 year contracts for energy production with a customer such as a local utility or a large corporation. Benefits of these assets include:

  • Portfolio Diversification & Downside Protection: In general, infrastructure assets have a low correlation to stocks and bonds. Further, this asset class can reduce volatility in investor portfolios during economic turmoil given a stable earnings stream throughout economic cycles.
  • Income Potential: Given the highly predictable cash flows of infrastructure assets, these investments usually provide strong income potential.
  • Long-Term Growth Potential: Renewable infrastructure investments, such as solar and wind energy projects, often offer long-term growth potential. As the world transitions towards a cleaner and more sustainable energy system, the demand for renewable energy is expected to rise. This can create opportunities for investors to benefit from capital appreciation and potential income generation over time.
  • Regulatory Support: Governments around the world are increasingly implementing policies and regulations that support the growth of renewable energy. This can include incentives such as tax credits, grants, and favorable regulatory frameworks that encourage renewable infrastructure development. In the US, the Inflation Reduction Act created $370 billion in incentives to develop renewable infrastructure projects which should ultimately lead to trillions of dollars in capital expenditures and the potential for higher returns to investors. 
Review current  investable opportunities in this space by clicking HERE.

Private Market Debt

Private market debt has grown significantly since the global financial crisis as banks have dramatically reduced lending to meet regulatory and capital requirement needs. This has led to private debt funds becoming the main source of financing for private equity firms that are seeking to buy and sell companies. Private debt can also be used for real estate projects and other ventures. Benefits include:

  • Reduced Volatility of Returns: Private debt investments are typically less sensitive to interest rate fluctuations compared to publicly traded fixed income securities. This is because private credit transactions often involve fixed interest rates or floating rates with contractual adjustments, which can help mitigate interest rate risk. As a result, private debt can be an attractive option for investors seeking income generation with lower interest rate sensitivity.
  • Higher Returns: Private debt usually offers much higher returns than publicly traded debt. 
  • Diversification: Private credit can provide diversification benefits to a portfolio. It is a distinct asset class that can have low correlation with traditional stocks and bonds. By adding private credit to a portfolio, investors can potentially reduce overall portfolio volatility and enhance risk-adjusted returns.
  • Income Generation: Private credit investments can provide a steady income stream in the form of interest payments. The contractual cash flows from private credit investments can offer reliable income, which can be particularly appealing to income-focused investors or those seeking consistent cash flows to meet their financial goals.

The Future of Investing

While we don’t know what the future holds, we do know that diversification and compounding over long periods of time works well for investors. Diversification in this case is not just traditional stocks and bonds where correlations between the asset classes have increased, but multiple asset classes in both the public and private markets. Further, having some illiquid assets can both reduce investor volatility and the impulse to sell during market disruptions. It further has the potential to enhance returns and meet investors goals both financially and personally. Learn more about private market investment opportunities by clicking the button below. 

Learn more about ways to diversify your portfolio by reading our white paper on opportunities to invest in Private Markets.  

Want to learn more?

Sign up to download our guide on Private Market Investments


Learn how Citizen Mint simplifies private market investing

Sign up now to learn the benefits of private market impact investing for financial advisors

Get access now

Sign up now to access private market investments on Citizen Mint’s platform.