Alternative investments, broadly defined as any asset beyond traditional stocks and bonds, can be used as a diversification tool in an investment portfolio. The UPAL Alternative Investment Pooled Fund is an investment option intended to reduce portfolio risk when used in conjunction with traditional asset classes. Recent changes to the fund included adding small strategic allocations to the iShares COMEX Gold Trust (IAU) and iPath ETN S&P 500 Dynamic VIX (XVZ) funds. The iShares COMEX Gold Trust provides exposure to gold, which has inflation-protection benefits and also can provide downside protection during periods of market turmoil. The iPath ETN S&P 500 Dynamic VIX fund provides exposure to an investment that can benefit from market volatility and provide a level of downside protection for equity positions in periods of significant downside potential. These additional strategies along with existing allocations to Treasury inflation-protected securities (TIPS) and commodities provide UPAL participants with a more diversified alternative investment option that can help reduce volatility of retirement portfolio returns.