Standard Life Investments

Understanding asset classes

We pride ourselves on our ability to understand your individual needs and tailor our service accordingly.

You'll often hear the term 'asset class' used in the investment industry. Asset classes are simply different categories of investment. The most common types are equities (shares in a company), bonds (also known as fixed interest securities or debt), real estate and cash. Our investors also have a few other options open to them, which we've described as specialist investments.

There are pros and cons to investing in every type of asset class. The key thing is to work out your long-term investment aims and take it from there. For example, do you want your investments to provide you with a regular source of income, or are you more focused on generating long-term capital growth? How comfortable are you with an element of risk? And will you need ready access to your money?

Most investors find that including a mixture of asset classes within their portfolios (known as diversification) is the best approach. You can find out more about each asset class in the following pages, or take a look at our funds to see how our expertise across a range of investment strategies can benefit you.