Morningstar has added 10 alternative investment categories to its classification system, eight of which cover exchange-traded funds and two the broad universe of funds.

“We’re adding these new categories because of the growing number and heightened use of alternative funds,” said John Reckenthaler, vice president of research for Morningstar. “It’s clear that alternative funds are here to stay. More than 400 alternative mutual funds and ETFs launched in the last five years, including more than 100 last year along. And investors poured almost $38 billion into these funds in 2010.”

The two new broad universe categories are managed futures and multi-alternative.

The ETF categories are: volatility, leveraged commodities, inverse commodities, leveraged debt, inverse debt, leveraged equity, inverse equity and ETFs that mix leveraged and inverse strategies.

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