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Some investors hope alternative investments will provide positive returns throughout the economic cycle; this goal is an absolute return objective. Alternative investments are not free of risk, however, and their returns may be negative and/or correlated with other investments, including traditional investments, especially in periods of financial crisis. Some investors in alternative investments have a relative return objective. A relative return objective, which is often the objective of portfolios of traditional investment, seeks to achieve a return relative to an equity or fixed-income benchmark.