Since the 2008 stock market collapse, investors have been dumping money into alternative funds. The objective of these funds is decent returns, with limited risk; a pattern of returns not positively correlated to stocks. Alternative fund categories include: long/short equity, market neutral, managed futures, bear market, and multi-alternative (multiple strategies).
Over the 3-5 years ending 5/30/2014, these funds have underperformed the S&P 500. The best performing alternatives have been long/short equity funds; but even this group has greatly lagged the stock market. Alternatives are designed for flat or negative stock markets; something that does not happen very often.