About the Podcast

 

Most investors don’t know that the ultra-wealthy (billionaires, institutions, family offices) have large portions of their investment portfolios allocated to investments outside the stock market and in alternatives like real estate, private equity and hedge funds. Meanwhile, the average high net worth investor is mostly invested in stocks and bonds.

Join Bob Fraser, Jim Maffuccio, and Ben Fraser as they dive into the world of alternative investments, uncover strategies of the ultra-wealthy, discuss economics and interview successful investors and alternative investment experts.

Why Did We Start This Podcast?

Most investors don't know that the ultra-wealthy (billionaires, institutions, and family offices) have large portions of their investment portfolios allocated to investments outside the stock market and in alternatives like real estate, private equity, and hedge funds. Meanwhile, the average high net worth investor is mostly invested in stocks and bonds.

One prime example of how institutions have leveraged alternative investments is the Yale Endowment. Yale's endowment office diverted money away from just stocks and bonds into alternative assets like real estate, timber, and hedge funds. From 1985 to 2020, the endowment grew from $1.3 billion to $31.2 billion, accounting for a third of Yale's entire operating budget. The chart below outlines their allocation targets, with just 7.5% going to bonds and cash.

Another example is from TIGER 21, an exclusive investor group for ultra-high net worth investors. According to a recent poll of their investor database (which accounts for around $85Bn of collective wealth), these investors have allocated a large portion of their wealth to real estate and private equity (their two highest allocation percentages).

So here's the bottom line...

Alternative investments were historically a difficult asset class to break into for retail investors. However, in recent years, alternative investments have opened up to more investors. We see this as a huge opportunity for all HNWIs to take advantage of the diversification, stability, and high returns that alternatives can offer.

What Alternatives Are Out There?

We put together what we call the Alternative Investment Continuum, which shows the broad categories most alternatives fall under. We will not only have educational podcast episodes helping to break down what these categories and subcategories mean, but will invite expert guests on related topics to share their unique insights and experiences.

What Do We Hope to Accomplish With This Podcast?

Now that alternatives are available to all HNWIs, the real challenge comes with effectively evaluating opportunities. How do you find good alternative options? How to do evaluate sponsors and do due diligence? How do you mitigate risk and avoid fraud?

These are all questions investors struggle with, and one of the main obstacles to taking advantage of investing in alts. That's what we're here for. Through deep dive conversations and interviews with everyone from sponsors, financial experts, and successful passive investors, we want to help you become a better investor.

Ready to dive in? Watch Episode 1 - How The Wealthy Invest & The Alternative Investment Continuum now!

About the Hosts

Bob Fraser Profile Photo

Bob Fraser

Co-Founder • CFO

Mr. Fraser has 20+ years’ experience as a finance and technology executive and is a Magna Cum Laude U.C. Berkeley computer scientist and a former Entrepreneur of the Year Award winner. Fraser is responsible for financial management, portfolio modeling, as well as systems and processes, designing and deploying Aspen’s scalable state-of-the-art back-end platform.

In 1995, Mr. Fraser founded NetSales, Inc., a back-office e-commerce provider. As a CEO, Mr. Fraser raised $44 million in investment capital, and guided the company to an average of 20% month-to-month revenue growth, becoming the metro area’s fastest growing company between 1997 and 1999.

Since 2002 Fraser has founded and served several non-profit organizations as a board member and CFO. Fraser has also been involved in a number of entrepreneurial initiatives, including book publishing, financial consulting, and an investment fund managing member.

In 2012 Fraser co-founded Aspen Funds, a fund management company focused on alternative investments.

Jim Maffuccio Profile Photo

Jim Maffuccio

Co-Founder

Mr. Maffuccio is a 30-year real estate veteran and an expert in mortgage notes. He is deeply networked in the secondary mortgage industry and is responsible for acquisitions and underwriting as well as relationships with primary sources and key vendors.

Maffuccio received his degree in civil engineering from Louisiana State University in 1979. Upon graduating, Mr. Maffuccio moved to the West Coast and gained extensive project management experience with Exxon.

From 1986 to present, Mr. Maffuccio has been engaged full time in the real estate development and investment industry. In addition, he has overseen several hundred purchase, sale, and/or financing transactions, and has been a licensed real estate agent since 1985.

During his real estate career, Mr. Maffuccio developed, and/or rehabbed multiple residential projects in Southern California, including infill subdivisions, affordable homes, luxury homes and homesites, multifamily, and planned developments, such as the Gold Nugget Award-winning “Traditions” community in Fillmore. Mr. Maffuccio has personally executed and/or managed every aspect of the development process, including site selection and acquisition, project conceptualization and design, procurement of entitlements and permits, regulatory compliance, entity structuring and capitalization, construction management, marketing, sales, and investor relations.

In 2009, Mr. Maffuccio began investing in mortgage loans, developing key sources and vendors and applying his extensive real estate experience to the note investment space. In 2012 Maffuccio co-founded Aspen Funds, a fund management company focused on alternative investments.

Ben Fraser Profile Photo

Ben Fraser

Managing Director • CIO

Prior to Aspen, Mr. Fraser was a commercial lender at First Business Bank specializing in government backed loan originations (SBA & USDA), for one of the top SBA lenders in the nation. Prior to that he was a commercial credit underwriter for Crossfirst Bank, personally responsible for underwriting over $125MM in C&I and CRE loans across a variety of industries.

Prior to that, he worked for Tortoise Capital Advisors, a boutique asset management firm in energy infrastructure investments, and helped grow their institutional managed accounts from ~$3BN AUM to ~$7BN AUM. Ben was responsible for responding to all institutional RFPs from interested institutional investors.

Ben completed his MBA from Azusa Pacific University, and his B.S. in Finance from the University of Kansas, graduating magna cum laude.