Need experts on alternative-investment ETFs

I’m looking for financial advisors, academics and other experts in alternative-investment ETFs like the AQR funds. Should small investors focused on college and retirement consider alternative investments in general? Or should this be left to bigger players? What are the pros and cons of alternative investments? Diversification. Non-correlation? Etc.? Do certain types appear especially promising or dangerous today? Then, what is your view of alternative investing through ETFs rather than actively managed funds or direct investment? Is this something a small investor can learn to do? What are the key considerations in choosing a fund? What are the red flags? What are the risks unfamiliar to an ordinary investor? Are fees an issue? How do you choose a benchmark to judge performance? What else should I be asking?Requirements: I prefer responses by email containing usable content and quotes, and because I usually get plenty I rarely respond to ones merely offering a source for interview. Please include the source’s contact info, full name, title, firm and location.