There seems to be no end to the drama hanging over the U.S. as we prepare to close out 2015. 

Like, how does the Federal Reserve really feel about interest rates? Will the equity bubble—if there is one—go boom? Are President Obama and the House headed for another showdown over the debt ceiling? Will the real Republican presidential candidate please stand up? 

A lot of heavy-duty questions are funneling into the minds of investors, and many of them are grappling with a dilemma—namely, what the heck to do with their money.

It’s a question that, fair to say, is always on the minds of investors, but the equity valuation concerns raised by an unprecedented run of near-zero interest rates, coupled with the plethora of once hard-to-access investments that have opened up to wealthy individuals and families, have added to the allure of alternatives.

That’s where advisors come in.

With investors more open to unconventional solutions, it’s advisors who need to step to the forefront, sift through the mountain of stuff that nominally constitutes the “alternative sector” and conduct the necessary due diligence to provide clients with the best chance for success.

In this issue, Caren Chesler paints a portrait of one firm that has been vigorously taking on this role. Tiedemann Wealth Management, a New York City-based RIA with $9.5 billion under advisement, focuses on clients who are at an especially unsettled point in their lives—in a period of transition. Whether they are dealing with divorce, a death or, most commonly, a sale of a family business, clients of Tiedemann are desperately seeking a plan for a sizable amount of new, liquid assets. 

“Once the company is sold, the family is faced with a void,” says Craig Smith, the firm’s president.

That void can, of course, be treacherous to navigate. Without the help of an experienced, skilled hand, people can stray into seemingly enticing investment areas that should be left to the professionals—like, say, treasure hunting.

We have that covered, too, as Leila Boulton takes a look at whether it’s wise to invest in an industry that scours the world’s oceans for hidden treasures. Billions of dollars worth of shipwrecked loot is believed to be still sitting at the bottom of the sea, and to be sure, some have gotten rich off of historic finds. But as Boulton points out, investment successes are few and far between, suggesting that treasure hunting is best left to adventurers rather than investors.

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