Our types of investment funds

Take the mystery out of asset classes

On this page we'll give you a simple explanation of the asset classes you may come across when you're investing.

Fund types explained

In Aviva’s fund centre, we show all the investment funds we offer to help you see how they’ve performed, what they invest in and their risk ratings. The funds available can be filtered by investment fund type. This will help you compare them to other funds that sit in the same sector, according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI)

If you’re looking for more information you'll also find a glossary on our fund centre to help you.

Funds tend to invest in specific areas – called asset classes. They can use one asset class or a mix. We’ll explain the most popular ones below.

Here is a brief description of each of the fund types we use:


Company shares are also known as equities. They represent part-ownership in a company. Companies issue shares on stock exchanges such as the London Stock Exchange, and the shares are then bought and sold on stock markets.


UK gilts (also known as government bonds) are issued by the UK government as a way for them to borrow money, usually for a fixed term. The government pays interest on the loan.

Corporate bonds

International and UK corporate bonds are loans issued by companies to pay for their operations or to grow the business among other things. Bonds pay the holder of the bond a regular income, and then the full value of the bond is paid when the bond comes to the end of its lifetime. 

Global bonds

Global bonds are issued by companies (corporate bonds) and governments from around the world.


This usually refers to commercial property. Shops, offices and warehouses are examples of commercial property. There are two components to an investment in commercial property – the value of the property itself and the rental income received from tenants of the property.

Cash/Money-market investments 

Money-market investments are also known as cash investments. They are short-term deposits of cash amounts, usually held with a financial company for less than 12 months. Please note they are not deposit accounts with banks or building societies.

Mixed asset

Mixed asset funds can invest in a range of assets including equities (shares), corporate bonds, gilts, property and cash.


Funds where the choice of investments is influenced by social, environmental or other ethical criteria. The fund managers of some ethical funds carry out ethical screening to meet their investment aims. This means they will check companies against certain moral standards before investing in them.


These funds aim to perform in line with a particular stock market index. They are often referred to as passive rather than active managed funds, where the fund manager makes the investment decisions.


This type of investment covers funds that don’t fit into the other fund types. For example, they may invest in assets such as infrastructure, commodities, derivatives and hedge funds or may be free to invest in any asset type at any time.


The guaranteed funds offer a fifth anniversary guarantee on a percentage of your original investment into the fund. The funds invest in a mix of assets including equities.


This is a special type of mixed asset investment. It shares the profits and losses of a with-profits fund with investors through a system of bonuses. 

A balanced approach

Some investors like to spread their investments across funds that invest in shares, bonds and gilts, property and cash/money markets, as well as in assets located across different parts of the world. This aims to reduce the overall risk of their total investments and is known as ‘diversification’. The fund range available to you includes funds that invest across different asset classes and geographic regions.

There is no guarantee that selecting funds that combine asset classes will be more beneficial than investing in single asset class funds, as all funds carry an element of risk.

What you need to think about when it comes to risk

We also assign each fund a risk/return rating to help you understand the investment risk – see the definitions here.

Please remember that the value of your investments can go down as well as up, and may be worth less than the amount paid in.

Before making any investment you need to consider your personal financial situation and what you want to get out of your investment.

A financial adviser will help you assess your financial situation, needs and your attitude to risk.

If you'd like a personalised recommendation based on your circumstances, you should seek financial advice. Remember that financial advisers may charge for their services. You can find a financial adviser in your area at www.unbiased.co.uk.

View our fund range

Remember to read all the important information we provide on our fund centre before you view the entire range.

Helpful documents

Read our guide to the fund factsheets.

Your guide to Fund Factsheets (PDF 82 KB)

Looking for something else?

We have a range of products for you to invest in.

Please remember, the value of your investments can go down as well as up and may be worth less than was invested. Tax treatment is subject to change and individual circumstances. Minimum investment amounts apply.

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