Driven by the desire to further grow their wealth, investors with portfolios of $1 million or more are increasingly turning to alternative asset classes, including private equity, hedge funds and real estate, a survey of high-net-worth investors by Northern Trust of Chicago reveals.

Seventy percent of the 1,014 households with investable assets of $1 million or more that Northern Trust polled have some exposure to alternative asset classes. In particular, younger millionaires, those age 35 or younger, are placing greater emphasis on alternative investments than on U.S. equities and bonds, with 27% of their portfolios allocated to an alternative investment class. In addition, 19% of their portfolios are in cash, indicating a cautionary approach to investing.

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