Date of Conferral



Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)


Business Administration


Lisa Cave



Less than half of all U.S. households have some form of retirement assets. Advisors who fail to use alternative investment strategies may not accumulate enough retirement assets for their clients. Grounded in Markowitz's modern portfolio theory, the purpose of this qualitative multiple case study was to explore alternative investment strategies financial advisors use to enhance the growth and diversification of their clients' retirement assets. Data were collected from semistructured interviews and company documents from 4

financial advisors in Georgia and South Carolina who had successfully incorporated alternative investments in their clients' retirement portfolios. Thematic analysis was used to analyze the data. Three themes emerged: risk associated with alternative investments,

noncorrelated diversified assets, and increased returns and growth. A key recommendation includes adopting financial platforms or using third party alternative investment managers to incorporate alternative investments into clients' retirement investment portfolios. The implications for positive social change include the potential for financial advisors to provide alternative investment strategies for use in their business practice, strengthen relationships with clients, improve the overall performance of their clients' investment portfolios, and reduce the downside risks of their assets. Further implications include the potential to create additional jobs for specialized managers of alternative investments.