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FNArena Book Review: Alternative Assets

Book Reviews | Jul 28 2023

FNArena Book Review: Grow Your Wealth Faster with Alternative Assets. A complete guide to the new universe of investment opportunities by Travis Miller.

By Rudi Filapek-Vandyck

A diversified investment portfolio goes beyond local equities and the residential property market, which is where most Australians traditionally look to invest. Even then, the focus often lays with either of those two asset classes, not necessarily combined.

There's no doubt the average investor as well as the local industry that guides and advises have both become more sophisticated over the decades past, and there's a growing realisation that smart, long-term investing can entail many more assets and options than simply the standard two.

But where do we turn to when looking for more insights and information?

Grow your wealth faster with alternative assets is an attempt by publisher Wiley to at least capture and inform some of the Australian investors who are warming to the idea there are juicy, stable, less-volatile and rewarding returns to be had outside of the ASX and interstate residential property.

Written by Travis Miller, co-founder of a market place in alternative assets, this book is written in an easy-to-read, uncomplicated style, as if it were talking to our younger self when still at high school.

The ambition is to become the guide that investors (and maybe financial advisors too) refer to when researching the subject, and thus the whole smorgasbord from loans to developers, to agricultural land, commodity futures, pre-IPO equity, asset-backed mezzanine debt, crypto currencies, and a lot more is on the menu.

The enthusiasm of the author is palpable, which is a constant encouragement, though at times it does feel the explanation provided seems a bit too easy, which, of course, investing in real life never is.

This is not a criticism. Keeping things easy-to-understand without adding plentiful tables filled with numbers and calculations keeps the book accessible for a large audience; it's a balancing act. This book is written for mum and dad investors looking to broaden their horizon, not necessarily for the grey-haired advisor sharpening his knowledge.

As the author repeatedly asks: why should alternative assets be the playground of large institutions and super-rich families only?

The catch remains that many of the options available are not genuinely designed for investors with more of a piecemeal budget to spend, but here's where dedicated platforms such as the one founded by the author come into play. This book is as much of a guide for curious investors as it is a marketing avenue for the author and his platform.

In early June, FNArena published an excerpt about investing in infrastructure:

Over twenty years of experience has given Miller plenty of case examples and personal experiences to share, but if anything, many of such personalised views and recommendations tend to merely highlight the average investor, let alone any newbie in this territory, does not have the contacts, the nous, nor the experience to separate the wheat from the chaff to successfully avoid the many pitfalls.

Maybe all roads lead to professional guidance and advice? Still, achieving at least a beginner's level of knowledge about the things one might be looking to invest in is never time wasted. This book can be useful indeed.

Grow Your Wealth Faster with Alternative Assets. A complete guide to the new universe of investment opportunities (Wiley $34.95) by Travis Miller. Travis is co-founder and CEO of iPartners, an Australian alternative asset marketplace with approximately $5bn in funds under management. Find out more at

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