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Guidance

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Fundchartbook Guidance
Before making Your investment choices please make sure You read the following information, which includes details of some of the risks You should be aware of:  
 
  • The return on each fund depends on the performance of the assets it invests in and the charges on the fund.
  • The price of a unit in a fund depends on the value of the fund’s assets after charges. This can go down as well as up, and Your investment in the fund may be worth less than what You paid.
  • Risk/Return ratings are reviewed regularly and they can change over time.
  • Some funds invest in overseas assets. This means that exchange rates and the political and economic situation in other countries can significantly affect the value of these funds. The value can go down as well as up, and Your investment in the fund may be worth less than what You paid.
  • The asset mix that each fund invests in may be continuously reviewed and may be changed in line with developments in the relevant markets. Part of each fund may also be held in cash and other money market instruments.
  • You will probably be one of many investors in each fund You choose. Sometimes, in exceptional circumstances, We may have to wait before We can transfer or switch Your investments. This is to maintain fairness between those remaining in and those leaving the fund.
  • If We have to delay a transfer or switch, we will use the fund prices on the day the transaction takes place – these prices could be very different from the prices on the day You made the request.
  • You can change the mix of Your investments and of the funds that You choose as it suits You.
  • Some of Our Unit-Linked Savings Plans and Retirement Solutions stipulate a minimum investment that has to be invested in each fund that You select. This means that You may be constrained by the number of funds that You can select at any one time.
  • Transaction costs may apply when You switch in and out of funds. These will be taken into account in the price used to calculate the value of the funds on the day You switch and will vary depending on the type of fund.
  • Some fund managers may look to get a better return by lending some of the assets to certain financial institutions. This involves some risk, and in certain circumstances, the fund could suffer a loss – for example, if the institution encountered financial difficulties and was unable to return the asset. The fund manager will use some controls to manage this risk, such as obtaining security from the borrower and monitoring their credit rating.
  • Funds can sometimes use derivatives to improve portfolio management and to help meet investment objectives. A derivative is a financial instrument – its value is derived from the underlying value or movement in other assets, financial commodities or instruments, like equities, bonds, interest rates, etc. There is a risk that a counterparty will fail, or partially fail, to meet their contractual obligations under the arrangement. Where a counterparty fails, the fund could suffer a loss. As part of the management of a fund, a number of controls can be used to reduce the impact of this risk, such as holding collateral and monitoring credit ratings. Depending on how it is used, a derivative can involve little financial outlay but result in large gains or losses. We do not have control over the use of derivatives in the funds that We provide.
  • The funds listed in the MAPFRE MSV Life Funds Chartbook were correct when this document is published. We cannot guarantee that all funds will be available when You make an investment.
  • There are important differences between the MMSV With Profits Fund and other types of investment funds. If You are thinking of investing in the MMSV With Profits Fund please  read the “MAPFRE MSV Simple Guide to With Profits” which is available on Our Website.

Asset Classes 
 
Asset classes
An ‘asset class’ is a category of investments, such as equities or bonds. Normally assets in the same class have similar characteristics. However, they can have very different returns and risks. The value of the investments in any asset class can go up or down, and may be worth less than what was paid in – there are no guarantees. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of current or future investment returns.  
 
Equities
What are they? Equities are part ownership in a company, usually known as stocks or shares. 
 
What is the potential return? The return on equities comes from growth in the value of the shares, plus any income from dividends. For overseas equities, changes in the foreign currency exchange rates could also significantly affect returns. 
 
What are the risks? Equities are one of the more volatile asset classes – although they can offer good growth potential, their value can rise or drop sharply at any time. Because of this volatility, equities should normally be viewed as a long term investment. 
 
 
Bonds
What are they? Bonds are essentially loans to a government or company. These loans are often for a set time period and the bond owner usually receives regular interest payments. What is the potential return? The return is a combination of any interest received and any change in the bond’s value. For overseas bonds, changes in the foreign currency exchange rates could also significantly affect returns. 
 
What are the risks? A bond’s return will be affected if: 
  • the interest or capital cannot be paid back in full or on time, 
  • the creditworthiness of the company or government reduces 
  • interest rates or foreign currency exchange rates change.
Bonds can be traded on the stock market, so their value can go up and down at any time. 
 
Some bonds are riskier than others, e.g. bonds issued for a longer time period or by companies which are viewed as risky. 
 
Money Market Instruments (including Cash)
What are they? Money market instruments generally include deposits with banks, as well as governments and large corporations. They also include other investments that can have more risk and return than standard bank deposits. 
 
There are circumstances where money market instruments can fall in value. 
 
What’s the potential return? The return comes from any interest received and any change in the value of the instrument. 
 
What are the risks? Investments in these assets are riskier than cash deposit accounts – in some circumstances their values may fall. The return may also be lower than inflation. 
 
Property
What is it? Property investing includes direct investments in buildings and land, as well as indirect investments such as shares in property companies. 
 
What is the potential return? The return from a direct investment in property is a combination of rental income and any change in the property value. In comparison, the return from indirect investments such as shares in property companies can be similar to equities (see the ‘equities’ asset class description for potential returns and risks). 
 
What are the risks? The value of direct property is generally based on the opinion of a valuer and is not fact. Property can take a lot longer to sell than other types of investment, so this asset class is considered to be less liquid than other assets. Property related equities, can have sharp changes in value at any time. The values of different types of property do not necessarily move in line with each other. For example, commercial property could be losing value even if house prices are going up. 
 
Alternative Assets These are less traditional investments that do not fit into one of the other asset class categories. These include direct and indirect investments in real assets like commodities, for example oil or precious metals. They also include investments with specialist characteristics.  
 
 
Investment Styles 
 
Passive / Tracker Funds 
A ‘passive’ fund aims to track or replicate the performance of a benchmark (usually a market index or blend of market indices). The performance of this type of fund will be affected by the rise or fall of the market or markets it is seeking to track and any charges which apply. Charges are typically lower for passive funds than actively managed funds. Since these funds are not trying to outperform the markets they track, returns will usually be lower than their benchmark because of the impact of charges. Passive funds are sometimes also called ‘tracker’ or ‘index-tracking’ funds. 
 
 
Active Funds
An ‘active’ fund usually aims to achieve returns that are higher than a ‘benchmark’ (such as the returns from a market index, cash/inflation, or the average return of other similar funds). The fund manager will try to outperform the benchmark by analysing potential investments to find the ones that they believe will provide higher returns over the longer term. Because of this, active funds are usually more expensive than passive alternatives. There is also no guarantee that returns will be higher than the benchmark. 
 
 
Absolute Returns Funds
Absolute return funds usually aim to have a positive return regardless of market conditions. Their investment strategies vary widely, but they often use complex strategies that make use of derivatives. Risk and return will depend on exactly what the fund invests in, but in general absolute return funds can be expected to fall less than the wider markets when markets fall, but also to increase by less than markets when they rise. Although absolute return funds aim for consistent positive returns, there is no guarantee that they will achieve them, and the funds can fall in value. Absolute return funds may have different risks from other funds due to the derivatives that they use, and also because they may borrow, which increases potential returns and risk. 
 
 
Lifestyle / Target Funds 
Lifestyle Funds are investment funds that invest in a diversified portfolio of assets with varying levels of risk generally for long-term investing. Lifestyle funds are often utilised by investors seeking a savings vehicle for a specified utilization date and, therefore, are often used to save for retirement.  Lifestyle funds are also sometimes referred to as Target Funds since their purpose is of serving as a vehicle for investing funds toward a specific goal. Lifestyle Funds combine conservative, moderate or aggressive risk allocations for savers at all different stages of their lives. As the retirement age (Target Date) nears, a Lifestyle Fund will roll down into a more conservative mix of assets. This will happen automatically under the guidance of the fund manager without the need of any intervention by the investors in the fund.   
 
               
With Profits Fund
The MAPFRE MSV Life With Profits Fund is an actively managed fund that seeks to offer competitive longterm real returns whilst smoothing the peaks and troughs of day-to-day market movements. The fund is backed by a wide range of assets both locally and overseas, giving investors access to markets which might otherwise be difficult to reach. These include equities, property investments, bonds and money market instruments. The asset mix of the fund can change over time. The amount invested, after product charges, is guaranteed to be repaid on maturity or death if it occurs earlier. Bonuses are added to the investment each year. Once paid bonuses are guaranteed and cannot be withdrawn. If the investment is kept for more than 10 years a Final Bonus may be paid at maturity depending on the performance of the fund. The return on the asset-mix is one factor that affects returns. Other factors include charges and any smoothing and guarantees that may apply.   
 
Risk / Return Ratings
The risk / return rating of a fund indicates how much the fund price might move compared to other funds. The higher the risk/return rating, the less stable the fund price is likely to be. Risk / return ratings are therefore intended as a guide to the potential volatility of returns from investing in funds. You can use risk categories to help You decide how much risk you are comfortable taking with Your investments in funds: 
 
One should not infer that a fund with a higher risk rating will produce superior returns than one with a lower risk rating. While over the longer term it is reasonable to assume that a higher risk fund offers greater growth potential, over shorter periods it may perform dramatically worse than a fund with a lower risk rating. 
 
Risk categories have been calculated using historical volatility data, based on international guidelines. Volatility is influenced by changes in the stock market prices, currencies and interest rates which can be affected by diverse factors including political and economic events. The risk category of a fund may not be a reliable indication of the future risk profile of the fund.  The risk category of a fund is not guaranteed and may change over time.  The lowest category does not mean that the fund is 'risk free'. 
 
The following are some of the assumptions made when defining risk/return ratings: 
 
  • Diversification (across markets or asset classes) reduces the overall risk of a portfolio. 
  • Funds with a small cap bias are considered a higher risk than those with a mid-cap bias, which are considered a higher risk than those with a large-cap bias. 
  • Funds with a more aggressive investment management style are a higher risk than those with a more conservative investment management style. 
  • Funds invested in markets with lower liquidity are considered to be a higher risk than those invested in more developed and mature markets. 
  • Currencies with historically high volatility are a higher risk than those with a historically lower volatility.
The volatility rating is not the only factor you should consider when selecting a fund. If you’re not sure which funds to choose, please seek advice from a financial adviser. 
  
Fund Performance and Fund Charges The Cumulative Growth of a fund is based  on NAV to NAV with gross income being reinvested.   The fund Annualised Growth is another way of representing returns and is the compound annual growth rate during the period in question.   Both the Cumulative Growth and the Annualised Growth rates are net of the Fund Charges of the fund. 
 
All funds take an annual fund management charge for the management and administration of the fund known as the Fund Charge. Fund Charges vary and depend on the type of fund. Typical annual Fund Charges are 1.50% for Equity Funds, 1.00% for Balanced Funds, 0.75% for Bond Funds and 0.40% for Cash Funds. Some funds may have lower or higher charges. Fund Charges are taken from the fund each day before the unit price of the fund is calculated.   Fund Charges are not earned by Us and are not controlled by Us and may change in the future.
 
All financial investments involve an element of risk. Therefore, the value of the investment and the income from it will vary and the initial investment cannot be guaranteed. The value of Your investment may fall as well as rise and You may get back less than originally invested. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of current or future results. All fund information and historical performance figures are shown in fund currency as at the date on the fact sheet unless otherwise stated. The performance figures are based on NAV to NAV.  
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