Standard Life Investments

Specialist investments

While it's self-explanatory from the names of some investment products what they invest in, there are other asset classes that require further explanation.

Private equity

Private equity is a broad term for any investment in companies that aren't quoted on a stock exchange. ‘Venture capital’ is one type – investors put their money into start-up, or less mature, companies, in the hope of generating an attractive return on their investment as the firms expand. Many investors are attracted by the growth potential of private equity.

Multi-asset investments

Multi-asset funds invest in a wide range of asset classes - equities, bonds, property and cash. Many investors choose them as a way of diversifying their portfolio.

Absolute return strategies

Absolute return funds seek to achieve positive performance over the shorter term (often regarded as one year) irrespective of the market conditions. To make this possible, absolute return portfolios typically invest across a wide range of asset classes and geographies in order to spread portfolio risk. They also make use of advanced investment strategies.

Tracker funds

These funds follow the performance of a particular index such as the FTSE 100. Since there is no active fund management (it is often called passive investing), tracker funds tend to have lower fees. They're sometimes referred to as index funds.

Fund of Funds

Rather than put money directly into shares, bonds or property, fund of funds does exactly what it says – it invests in other funds. In some cases these funds are in-house (for instance all managed by Standard Life Investments). In other cases, the funds are from a whole host of external fund providers.

Manager of Manager funds are a similar idea to fund of funds, though in this instance it is the manager not the fund that is specifically selected. The combined talent of some of the world's leading managers is brought together in one investment fund. The manager of manager monitors the performance of each hired manager and will replace them if deemed necessary.