There's a relatively new product in the market / on the Nasdaq called Alpha Indexes. It lets one own a company -- e.g. Apple, GE, Google, etc -- as the difference between how that company does (the "target"), and a benchmark (e.g. SPY). That seems like a "stock analyst's dream", being able to say they believe company XYZ will grow their earnings and do better than the market by X%, rather than assigning a future price to something that could be greatly affected by other factors (e.g. Euro debt crisis or whatever next crisis), which frankly, seems highly incestuous: having to pick the price of a particular instrument, that is affected greatly by other instruments in ways it should not be (vs. investing on relative performance).
The question I have is, how closely can this return be done today with options. What are the parallels, and how close/far off are they? Perhaps beyond company XYZ vs SPY, what if someone just wants to own gold against copper, or Apple against Microsoft, etc. That seems like just substituting another benchmark in.