The past decade has been a daunting time for stock market investors, but judicious use of alternatives could have brightened clients’ spirits.

From 2002 through 2011, a hypothetical 20% portfolio shift, from the S&P 500 to a mix of alternatives, would have increased the annualized return by nearly 33% while decreasing the annualized standard deviation, according to a white paper, “Bringing The Benefits Of Alternative Investments to Client Portfolios,” co-authored by Steve Medina, co-head of global asset allocation at John Hancock Asset Management, and Michael Stephens, senior product manager at John Hancock Financial Services.

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