Correlations, Standard Deviations and Expected Returns..

CFAI seems to lay a lot of emphasis in understanding the correlations , expected returns, standard deviations with regard to alternative investments such as real estate, hedge funds, private equity etc. I feel that all this is simply a data mining bias. The more you dig through this data the more stuff you are going to find that may not have a strong economic basis. For example, indirect investing in real estate give better returns than direct investing - to me this is simply noise unless there’s a economic explanation to this.