The Henderson Alternative Strategies Trust invests in a diverse mix of other funds and trusts with the aim of generating income and growing shareholders’ investments over the long-term.

What does it do?

The Company invests internationally with the aim of growing the total value of your investment, which includes both income from dividends and your capital, over the long term which is around 6 to 8 years.

It aims to provide a return which is better than its benchmark which is the FTSE World Total Return index – in simple terms this means better than shares in a range of companies around the world.

How does it do it?

The Trust is what’s known as a ‘fund of funds’ which means it invests in other investment trusts and investment funds. It seeks out investments in 5 categories:

• Sector specialist funds, for example renewable energy
• Specialist geography funds, for example emerging markets
• Private equity funds
• Property funds
• Hedge funds

The Trust is jointly managed by Ian Barrass and James de Bunsen whose style is all about diversification and discipline.

Diversification across many types of asset class means that the underlying investments react in different ways to what is happening in economies and in markets, helping to provide a smoother return for investors. Discipline is about keeping a strict focus on the highest quality assets and the highest quality fund managers.

Why do James and Peter do it?

What makes this job interesting is the sheer range of types of asset we can invest in, and the fact for many investors they are things they would not normally be able to invest in directly themselves.

James and I spend our time seeking out the highest quality assets and managers across a very wide universe so that we have the best chance of providing a return to investors.

We are specialists at what we do and we are very focused on types of investment that many investors don’t know very much about. Investing in this Trust means you get access to that very specialist knowledge without having to do the work yourself.

What are the Risks?

Share prices go up and down. If you sell your shares at a lower price than you bought them, you will have lost money. You should be comfortable with this risk before investing. See Step 2 for more information on risk, if you haven’t already.

Active management techniques that have worked well in normal market conditions could prove ineffective or detrimental at other times.

This Trust is suitable to be used as one component in several in a diversified investment portfolio. Investors should consider carefully the proportion of their portfolio invested into this Trust.

The return on your investment is directly related to the prevailing market price of the Trust’s shares, which will trade at a varying discount (or premium) relative to the value of the underlying assets of the Trust. As a result losses (or gains) may be higher or lower than those of the Trust’s assets.

Global portfolios may include some exposure to Emerging Markets, which tend to be less stable than more established markets and can be affected by local political and economic conditions, reliability of trading systems, buying and selling practices and financial reporting standards.

Where the Trust invests in assets which are denominated in currencies other than the base currency then currency exchange rate movements may cause the value of investments to fall as well as rise.

The Trust may use gearing as part of its investment strategy. If the Trust utilises its ability to gear, the profits and losses incured by the Trust can be greater than those of a Trust that does not use gearing.

In certain circumstances the investment manager may not be able to sell investments from the Trust's portfolio. This could have a negative impact on the overall performance of the Trust.

Source: Morningstar