Until now, learning just the basics of the heady world of alternative assets meant taking higher level college courses or landing an entry-level job. Or both.
Last week Preqin announced the launch of Preqin Academy, a free fundamentals program intended to introduce students and early-career professionals to the essentials of the alternative assets industry.
“Our mission is to increase understanding within the alternatives industry, and providing high-quality educational resources for people taking the first steps in their career is fundamental to that,” said Preqin CEO Mark O’Hare. Headquartered in London, Preqin is a provider of data, analytics and insights to the alternative assets community.
The four lessons begin by describing alternative assets and exploring their history and significance. The remaining three cover the details of hedge funds, private capital and the basics of the five asset classes (private equity, real estate, private debt, infrastructure and natural resources).
Each lesson is written simply enough that anyone with a basic knowledge of financial markets will be able to understand the concepts. The emphasis on clarity and simplicity doesn’t come at the expense of objectivity. Discussing leverage, the lesson goes into the risks as well as the advantages.
Nor do the lessons ignore the industry’s challenges. In the section covering hedge fund fees, Preqin observes that, “hedge fund managers are facing mounting pressure to reduce fees.”
There are no tests and no registration. Each lesson is self-contained, making it easy to start a topic and return as often as a student wants.
Besides the Alternatives 101 lessons, Preqin has collected a few career oriented articles and access to a library of academic and other research into all aspects of alternative assets.
For those who want to pursue their training, Preqin has arranged discounts to more formal development programs through the University of Oxford and the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst Association.