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Glossary > Asset Class

Asset Class

Alternative investments

Beyond hedge funds, alternative investments also include instruments such as commodities, private equity and real estate.

Asset Class

Catastrophe bonds

Catastrophe bonds are bonds generally issued by insurance or reinsurance companies in order to transfer part of the risks associated with exceptional natural events.

Asset Class

Convertible bonds

Convertible bonds combine the defensive qualities of fixed-income securities with the potential upside and downside of equities, giving them an asymmetrical return profile.

Asset Class


In terms of investment strategies, equities are one of the major asset classes.

Asset Class

Emerging equities

The term “emerging equities” refers to the listed shares of companies based in emerging-market countries. In general, emerging-market countries are regarded as having rapidly growing economies that show greater potential returns but higher risk than developed markets.

Asset Class

Emerging markets

The term “emerging markets” was coined in the 1980s to refer to developing countries that offer opportunities for investors.
Asset Class

Emerging-market debt

Debt in emerging countries is mainly issued by governments, sovereign bodies or corporations.

Asset Class


ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) is a term which outlines the key non-financial considerations investors can integrate into their investment process.

Asset Class

Fixed income

In terms of investment strategies, fixed income is one of the principal asset classes.

Asset Class

Hedge funds

Hedge funds are designed for qualified investors, such as institutional investors or individuals who have significant assets, and are more loosely regulated than classic investment funds.

Asset Class

High-yield bonds

High-yield bonds are corporate bonds issued by companies that have been given low credit ratings (BB+ or lower) by a credit-rating agency.

Asset Class

Impact investing

Impact investing is an investment made with the intention of generating a positive social and/or environmental impact alongside financial returns.

Asset Class

Money market

The money market is actually a sub-category of the fixed-income market, where financial instruments with high liquidity and very short maturities are traded.

Asset Class

Multi-asset class

Multi-asset-class strategies combine the features and advantages/disadvantages of the major asset classes.

Asset Class


The term “SMID caps” is a contraction of “small and mid caps”, i.e. listed companies with small and medium-sized capitalisations.


Biodiversity is the variety of life on earth at all levels, from genes to ecosystems, plants and animals

Asset Class

Private markets

“Private markets” refers to assets that are not traded on public equity exchanges; they are illiquid, and are spread across different market segments, such as real estate, private equity, private debt, and investments in tangible assets and infrastructure.

asset class

Responsible investment

First appearing several decades ago, responsible investment was for a long time a niche market segment, but has enjoyed a boom since the 2008 financial crisis.

Asset class


“Forex” is short for “foreign exchange” market (also known as the “FX” market). It is on this market that different currencies are traded against each other. These transactions establish exchange rates: currencies are characteristically listed in pairs, with the exchange rate being the value of one currency against another.

asset class

Green bonds

A green bond (also known as an “environmental bond”) is a loan issued on the market by a firm or institution so that they can finance so-called “green” projects, i.e. those which bring with them an environmental benefit, for example, renewable energy, water management or land use.