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The potential of alternative investments as an asset class: a thematic and bibliometric review

Hardeep Singh Mundi (School of Business, UPES Dehradun, Dehradun, India)
Deepak Kumar (Accounting and Finance, Indian Institute of Management Ranchi, Ranchi, India)

Qualitative Research in Financial Markets

ISSN: 1755-4179

Article publication date: 31 May 2022

Issue publication date: 17 January 2023




This paper aims to review, systematize and integrate existing research on alternative investments. This study conducts performance analysis comprising production timeline, country-wise contributions, analysis of sources, affiliations, the geography of authors and citations of studies on alternative investments.


This study adopts a thematic and bibliometric analysis methodology on 570 papers identified from mainstream literature on alternative investments. This study provides an analysis of science mapping, including co-citation analysis, bibliometric coupling, word analysis and trending topics on alternative investments. In addition, the study presents thematic analysis by classifying existing studies into nine themes.


Alternative investments provide diversification benefits and play a critical role in portfolio construction, and the research on alternative investments has gained momentum in recent times. This study finds that hedge funds, private equity, artwork, collectibles, commodities, fine wine and venture capital have remained prominent themes in the field. Investments in cryptocurrencies are an emerging area in the research on alternative investments.

Research limitations/implications

This study limits itself to the papers published in the area of finance and economics listed on the Scopus database.


This study provides quantitative bibliometric analysis and thematic analysis of the extant literature on alternative investments and identifies the areas that could be developed to advance research on alternative investments.



The authors are grateful to their employers for providing us with the time to carry out our research smoothly. Authors would like to thank the editor and two anonymous referees for their comments on a preliminary version of this paper.


Mundi, H.S. and Kumar, D. (2023), "The potential of alternative investments as an asset class: a thematic and bibliometric review", Qualitative Research in Financial Markets, Vol. 15 No. 1, pp. 119-141.



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