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Steve Russell

Fund Manager
Graduated from the University of 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, joining Ruffer in 2003. He was co-manager of Ruffer’s investment trust from 2004 to 2019 and is currently co-manager of two of Ruffer’s flagship funds. He became a non-executive director of F&C Investment Trust in 2022, having previously been non-executive director of JPMorgan European Investment Trust.
Articles by Steve
St Jay and the inflation dragon
February 2024: With markets pricing in multiple rate cuts for 2024, investors appear content that inflation is yesterday’s problem. But if inflation proves stickier than forecast and central banks are unable to grant the market the rate cuts it’s expecting, risk assets could be vulnerable.
It's a very, very mad world
October 2023: Some extraordinary dynamics have emerged in markets in 2023. None more startling than the breakdown of the typical relationship between bond yields and equity valuations – especially mega-cap tech stocks. So far, it’s been bond investors who have endured the pain of rising real yields. But is an equity market repricing – reflective of stickier inflation and ‘higher for longer’ rates – the shoe that’s yet to drop?
Early and ready
July 2023: Investment Director Steve Russell reviews the downtrend in performance this year in the context of a global equity market rally.
Is discretion the better part of valour?
June 2023: Whilst it’s been a tough start to the year for cautious investors, equity valuations – particularly in the US – suggest the rally could run out of steam, and cash now offers a tempting alternative. Moreover, with inflation stubbornly high, central bankers will be reluctant to intervene if markets encounter turbulence. Against this backdrop, we think caution is still justified.
Having your cake and eating it?
February 2023: Markets have rallied in expectation of a soft landing for the US economy and interest rate cuts from the Fed. As Steve Russell explains, markets can have one or the other, but both seems implausible. And any disappointment could leave investors feeling distinctly nauseous.  
Reasons to Be Fearful, Part 3*
October 2022: So far this year, we’ve seen a painful but orderly repricing of risky assets. Now, we fear something worse – a possible liquidation event. One in which owners of risky assets like equities and credit are forced into a sudden rush for the exit.
La la land?
June 2022: Who’d be a central banker today? Once, they were the masters of the universe, bravely slaying the dragon of inflation and slashing interest rates to save the economy in times of peril. Today, they seem powerless to control inflation. Fearful of raising interest rates too far, they issue hollow calls for wage restraint. No wonder Andrew Bailey, Governor of the Bank of England, admitted to MPs recently that “It’s a very, very difficult place for us to be in.”
Out of the frying pan into the fire?
February 2022: A bubble in profitless tech and so called ‘meme’ stocks may be bursting in front of our eyes. But so far investors still think there is safety to be found in the last decade’s big winners, whatever their valuation. This risks confusing size and past success with safety.
A Ruffer Christmas Scrooge?
December 2021: At Ruffer we’re used to being accused of seeing the glass ‘half empty’ rather than ‘half full’. It’s not that we’re inherently pessimistic, but our job is to protect our investors’ capital against whatever might go wrong in markets. So naturally we tend to focus more on the risks than the opportunities. Or as Jonathan Ruffer might put it – to see the mousetrap clearer than the cheese.
Going, going, gone!
September 2021: What can they see that we can’t? Private equity bids for UK companies are soaring, while at the same time the UK stock market languishes at valuations well below US peers.