LF Ruffer Total Return Fund

Seeking positive absolute returns with low volatility
The LF Ruffer Total Return Fund is our flagship fund. An established and popular choice.

It has a simple aim – consistent positive returns, regardless of how the financial markets perform.

We try not to lose money in any 12 month period, and to grow the value of our investors’ wealth over the long haul.

If we can do this, we should outpace inflation, protecting and increasing the real value of our investors’ income and capital.

Please note the LF Ruffer Total Return Fund is a UK domiciled fund and only registered for distribution in the UK.

At a glance
30 Oct 2020
Launch date 29 Sep 2000
Launch price 100.00p
  C class O class I class
Accumulation shares 474.93p 463.33p 502.44p
Income shares 307.35p 299.67p 324.95p
Latest fund prices and reports
A list of all our latest fund reports and prices.
How we invest
Our approach to investing.
Responsible investing
How we approach environmental, social and governance issues.
Our latest thoughts, comments and views.
Whatever one’s outlook, there have been times in 2020 when the markets seemed to echo one’s innermost thoughts, and times when we shout out like Falstaff, that the whole world has gone mad.
Jonathan Ruffer, Chairman
Coronavirus shutdowns have triggered the worst recession since the Great Depression. Like a depth charge dropped against a submarine, we’ve felt the shockwave but have yet to see how much debris floats to the surface.
Alexander Chartres, Investment Director
The markets have wired themselves to the wrong inevitabilities.
Henry Maxey, Chief Investment Officer, ON THE DEFLATION MACHINE
What to expect?

We focus on the absolute risk of losing money, not the relative risk of underperforming the stock market.

Consider a year when the market falls by 25%. A fund manager focused on relative returns could lose 20% of their investors’ money and still claim to have done well by ‘outperforming’ the index.

At Ruffer, we take on the responsibility for managing risk, and for the returns we deliver. If we ever lost 20% of our investors’ money, we would have failed.

While our track record is strong, it should definitely not be seen as evidence the fund is immune to shocks or unexpected events. During the next market panic, our protective investments may not protect us.

Our investment approach is tried and tested but sometimes can seem a bit dull. We don’t apologise for that.

For example, we never own shares just because they are currently popular. What’s more, when markets are rising strongly, investing with Ruffer can be like riding a tractor on the motorway, plodding in the slow lane. It’s only when the motorway sinks into boggy marshland that a tractor proves to be a wise way to travel.

Read more about our integrated approach to responsible investment.

Key people

The LF Ruffer Total Return Fund follows the core Ruffer philosophy and strategy. These are unchanged since the firm started in 1994.

The investment strategy and asset allocation are set by Henry Maxey (Chief Investment Officer) and Jonathan Ruffer (Chairman, Ruffer LLP), supported by a team of senior fund managers and our in–house researchers.

The fund is managed by Steve Russell, Matt Smith and Alexander Chartres – all Investment Directors at Ruffer. Steve has been managing the fund since 2006; Matt and Alexander joined as co-managers in 2019.

Fund managers
Steve Russell
Investment Director
Graduated from Oxford in Philosophy, Politics and Economics and started work as an equity analyst at Confederation Life in 1987, where he became Head of Equities in charge of £5 billion of equity funds. In 1999 he moved to HSBC Investment Bank as Head of UK and European Equity Strategy, before joining Ruffer in 2003. He became a non–executive director of JPMorgan Fleming Continental Investment Trust in 2005 and is co–manager of the LF Ruffer Total Return Fund.
Matt Smith
Investment Director
Joined Ruffer in 2011 after graduating from Edinburgh University with a first class honours degree in history and German. He spent 2015 seconded to Ruffer’s Hong Kong office as an equity analyst, and is a fellow of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment, having achieved a distinction in the Financial Derivatives paper. He primarily manages portfolios for pension schemes and institutions and co-manages the LF Ruffer Total Return Fund.
Alexander Chartres
Investment Director
Joined Ruffer in 2010 after graduating from Newcastle University with a first class honours degree in history and politics. Alex worked closely with Clemmie Vaughan and Jonathan Ruffer for six years. In 2012, he became a member of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment, achieving a merit in the Private Client Advice and Management paper. He specialises in geopolitics and its investment implications, with a particular focus on European and Great Power politics. He is a co-manager of the LF Ruffer Total Return Fund.
Asset %
Non-UK index-linked 22.9
Long-dated index-linked gilts 11.1
Short-dated bonds 9.9
Illiquid strategies and options 9.8
Gold and gold equities 9.0
Cash 5.6
Index-linked gilts 1.9
UK equities 9.8
Japan equities 6.6
Europe equities 6.2
North America equities 5.4
Asia ex-Japan equities 1.7
Currency %
Sterling 78.0
Gold 9.0
US dollar 8.2
Yen 2.0
Euro 0.3
Other 2.6

Data as at 30 September 2020. Pie chart totals may not equal 100 due to rounding.

Top 10 equity holdings
10 largest equity holdings (excludes holdings in pooled funds) %
iShares Physical Gold 2.0
Lloyds Banking Group 2.0
Kinross Gold 1.7
NatWest Group 0.9
Carrefour 0.8
Tesco 0.8
Gold Fields 0.7
Barclays PLC 0.7
American Express 0.7
Data as at 30 September 2020
How to invest

The fund is available to buy on the following platforms, among others. Click a logo to be directed to the platform.

Alternatively, if you would like to invest directly with us please get in touch with one of the contacts listed below.

Who to contact
Toby Barklem
Business Development Director
Joined Ruffer in 2017, having spent five years at Standard Life Aberdeen in a variety of business development roles focused on financial advisers. He studied history, initially graduating from Exeter University in 2003 and then latterly Imperial College London. Following this he spent seven years as an officer in the British Army.
Joshua Gunson
Business Development Manager
Joined Ruffer in 2010, working in the Product and Fund Relations teams. He holds a degree in philosophy from the University of Nottingham and an MBA with distinction from Cass Business School, and focuses on building relationships with financial planners and wealth managers throughout the UK.
80 Victoria Street
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