Understanding your investment options

The way you decide to invest depends on a number of factors. How you feel about risk, for example, or how involved you want to be in managing your own investment decisions. You might be keen to focus on responsible investing that supports environmental, social or governance (ESG) initiatives. You might have interests in  Smaller Companies or other asset types.

The sections below explain all the investment options we offer, including ready-made investment portfolios categorised according to risk, responsible investment funds, index tracking funds and specialist funds and stockbroking.


We offer a broad range of ready-made, multi-asset investment portfolios. Made up of different combination of asset classes, they're an efficient way to invest in diversified, all in one portfolios.

The definition of 'responsible' in relation to investments will vary from person to person. Generally, it means investment in funds that support progress in environmental, social or (corporate) governance (ESG) initiatives. We offer a range of responsible investment options through our suite of ESG funds.

Global Equity Impact Fund
This investment fund actively looks for opportunities to invest in initiatives that address issues relating to climate change, social inequality and unsustainable production and consumption methods. Investment areas might include sustainable energy, recycling initiatives, health and social care, sanitation, education and employment, agriculture, housing and financial inclusion.

Global Corporate Bond SRI Fund
This fund invests in bonds that demonstrate a socially responsible approach. These bonds might, for example, aim to invest in securities from companies with a lower carbon footprint than contemporaries in the same industry. They may also be tilted towards higher ESG scoring companies and those with lower risks around people and the planet.

Multi-Asset ESG Fund
Combining our Global Equity Impact Fund and Global Corporate SRI Bond Fund, this fund provides investors with a globally-diversified portfolio of assets that meet strict environmental, social and governance criteria and actively contribute to a fairer, more sustainable world.


Index funds aim to track the performance of a benchmark index, such as the S&P500 or Nasdaq 100, or a number of benchmark indexes. This approach offers a relatively low-cost way to invest your money. Standard Life offers you the choice of:

Global Index Funds

Five ready-made, multi-asset investment portfolios designed to help you meet your financial goals. These funds are managed by Vanguard, one of the world’s leading fund managers.

Find out more about Global Index Funds


Vanguard index tracking funds

Vanguard is one of the world's largest fund managers, with more than 40 years of experience in passive investing. The links below will give you more information about the Vanguard index tracking funds that we offer.


Equity Index funds


Bond Index funds



Specialist funds invest in specific areas of interest. Smaller companies, for example, or property. They're designed to allow professional, professionally-advised and/or knowledgeable investors to create their own portfolios. Stockbroking services allow you to invest directly by purchasing shares, bonds or exchange-traded funds.

You’ll find a full list of the specialist funds we have available, as well as more information about each one, in our Fund Centre. We've also included some examples below. 

Smaller Companies Funds

Property Funds


Execution-only stockbroking* 

Our execution-only stockbroking services lets you deal in company shares, bonds and exchange traded funds (ETFs) online or over the phone.

There's more information about all your investment options in our Investment Options Guide. You'll find more details about taking control of your own investment strategy in our Self-Directed Options Guide.

*Available on pension and ARF products, excluding executive pensions

European Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation

In March 2021, the EU Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) came into force. It established a European wide framework to facilitate sustainable investments. Its main goal is to make the sustainability characteristics of funds more comparable and easy to understand for investors. See more on EU Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR).



Warning: The value of your investment may go down as well as up

Warning: This investment may be affected by changes in currency exchange rates

Warning: If you invest in this product you may lose some or all of the money you invest

Warning: The income you get from this investment may go down as well as up