Standard Life Investments

Global Absolute Return Strategies

Our GARS portfolio aims to provide positive investment returns in all market conditions. We look to produce the same returns historically achieved by long-term stock market investment but with less uncertainty than equity-only investing.

GARS aims to provide a return that is equivalent to cash plus 5% per year before fees when averaged over three years. This is consistent with the long-term return available from equities and we expect to achieve this target with only one-third to one-half of the volatility. However, as with any investment, we cannot guarantee the target will be achieved. Depending on market movements and the fund managers' investment decisions, there will be years when we deliver more or less than this target, and we may even lose money.

By investing across many different markets and types of investment, we are able to spread risk much further. As well as investments in equities, global bond markets and property, GARS can seek returns from advanced strategies such as relative value and directional investing. These strategies can help us make money even if markets are falling, meaning we can aim to enhance the return potential and provide investors with a smoother investment journey. However, when markets behave very differently from our managers' expectations, then GARS is unlikely to make money.

Benefits of GARS

  • A positive perspective – we target positive returns irrespective of market conditions.
  • Smoother investment journey – GARS aims to deliver returns with lower risk than from pure stock market investing.
  • Experienced team – our 60-strong, award-winning, multi-asset-investing and macro team manages GARS.
  • Genuine diversification – we invest in a wide range of strategies across asset classes in order to generate positive returns in a broad range of market conditions, including potentially times when markets are falling.


You should consider GARS if you: However, GARS won't be suitable if you:
Wish to invest in a fund that aims for a reasonable level of return, but with less uncertainty than investing in equitiesDo not wish to take any risk with your capital
Seek a fund that provides a degree of protection in volatile or falling marketsDo not wish to invest in a portfolio that uses financial derivatives
Are looking for a fund to form the core element of an investment portfolio or diversify an existing one.Have a time horizon of less than five years.

For more information read our consumer guide to GARS

*Cash is defined as 6-month LIBOR