All-weather investing

Seeking consistent positive returns.

Come rain or shine.

Ruffer provides investment management services for institutions, pension funds, charities, financial planners and individual investors.
All-weather investing
Select Location
Middle East
Channel Islands
Rest of world
Type of Investor
Individual investors
Family office
Financial planner
Individual investors
All investors
All investors
80 Victoria Street
London SW1E 5JL
31 Charlotte Square
Edinburgh EH2 4ET
103 boulevard Haussmann
75008 Paris, France

WS Ruffer Total Return Fund

Seeking positive absolute returns with low volatility
The WS 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 WS Ruffer Total Return Fund is a UK domiciled fund and only registered for distribution in the UK.

At a glance
29 Nov 2023
Launch date 28 Sep 2000
Launch price 100.00p
  C class I class
Accumulation shares 529.45p 563.52p
Income shares 322.48p 343.04p
Markets have a knack of exposing over-leveraged positions.
Henry Maxey, Chief Investment Officer
Fragilities can persist for long periods, hidden from view, without the system breaking.
Jamie Dannhauser, Economist
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
Key people

The WS 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 set by Henry Maxey and Neil McLeish, Co-Chief Investment Officers, supported by a team of senior fund managers and research analysts.

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
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.
Matt Smith
Fund Manager
Joined Ruffer in 2011 after graduating from the University of Edinburgh 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 CISI. He sits on the senior asset allocation committee and co-manages two of Ruffer’s flagship funds.
Alexander Chartres
Fund Manager
Joined Ruffer in 2010 after graduating from Newcastle University with a first class honours degree in history and politics. In 2012, he became a member of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment. He specialises in geopolitics and is co-manager of two of Ruffer‘s flagship funds.
Asset %
Short-dated bonds 36.7
Non-UK index-linked 16.5
Long-dated index-linked gilts 8.0
Long-dated bonds 6.5
Cash 5.5
Gold exposure and gold equities 4.8
Commodity exposure 7.3
Consumer discretionary equities 3.3
Financials equities 2.1
Consumer staples equities 1.5
Industrials equities 1.3
Other equities 6.3
Currency %
Sterling 72.4
Yen 20.7
US dollar 3.7
Euro 0.5
Other 2.7

Data as at 31 October 2023. Totals may not equal 100 due to rounding

Largest equity holdings
Largest equity holdings (excludes holdings in Ruffer funds) %
iShares MSCI China A UCITS ETF 1.0
Alibaba Group Holding 1.0
Alibaba Group ADR 0.8
BP 0.6
Bayer AG 0.4
Data as at 31 October 2023
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.

Total Return Fund
Joshua Gunson
Director – UK Wholesale
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
London SW1E 5JL
31 Charlotte Square
Edinburgh EH2 4ET
103 boulevard Haussmann
75008 Paris, France