Institutional strategies are a wellspring of inspiration for retail product developers. One such idea that is making its way into the retail market is the supply of alternative investments.

The use by institutions of products that invest in assets other than stocks and bonds has doubled to 16% from 8% over the last 17 years, according to Victor Zhang, president of Wilshire Funds Management. Speaking at Envestnet's webinar, "Institutional Investing Trends for 2013, Zhang said, "The average U.S. equity and bond exposure has been in a secular decline while there has been an increase in allocation to global asset classes and alternatives."

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