I love alternative investments. They can be much more exciting than stocks and bonds. Venture capital, private equity, hedge funds, commodities, and precious metals make up the investment arena of 'alternatives'.
Wave Theory For Alternative Investments: Riding The Wave with Hedge Funds, Commodities, and Venture Capital by Stephen Todd Walker is the most complete book on alternative investments I have ever read. It is filled with numerous tables, charts, and graphs to make for easy reading.
Chapter 3 is probably the most important as it covers the advantages and disadvantages of all types of alternatives, and even more important, the section called Top 25 Alternative Surfing Maneuvers.
Here's a bit of trivia from the book. Did you know that back in 1999, the CIA (yes the US government's Central Intelligence Agency) set up its own venture capital fund? The fund, called In-Q-Tel, has invested in over 100 companies. It even invested in the technology that is now known as Google Earth.
Chapter 9 is my favorite section of the book, called Venture Capital Investment Vehicles. It covers what to invest in, how to invest, and the top twenty questions you should be asking before committing your money.
One great feature of the book is that Walker provides plenty of suggested web sites and other books.
If you have ever been interested in investing in alternative investments, or have started to dig your foot in the alternative water, or even if you have already been investing for a while, you should read Wave Theory For Alternative Investments.