Stocks are volatile, near record levels; bonds offer low yields and exposure to rising interest rates. What’s more, the return from stashing money in cash is akin to hiding it between the box springs.

Naturally, financial planners and clients are turning to other choices. Fund companies have gotten the message so high minimums, high fees and low liquidity are no longer the rule in the world of alternative investments. Liquid alts, as they’re known, may be as accessible and disposable as familiar funds. From a total of $169 billion in assets in 2007, total assets in alt mutual funds and ETFs have been projected to reach $650 billion by 2017.

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