Allan Gray Balanced Fund

Investment update video

Watch this 5-minute video to gain insight into where we are currently finding value across asset classes

Our flagship long-term unit trust

The goal of the Balanced Fund is to create steady, long-term wealth for investors by balancing income generation, capital growth and risk of loss using a mixed selection of assets. We aim to beat the average performance of similar unit trusts without taking any more risk.

The Balanced Fund is suitable for you if:

  • You are looking for steady, long-term capital growth
  • You are ideally investing for at least three years
  • You are comfortable with taking on some risk of market fluctuation and potential capital loss
  • You wish to invest in a unit trust that complies with legal investment limits for retirement funds

Performance after fees with all distributions reinvested
as at  31 October 2021 (In rands)

Benchmark: The market value-weighted average return of funds in the South African – Multi Asset – High Equity category (excluding Allan Gray funds). From inception to 31 January 2013 the benchmark was the market value-weighted average return of the funds in both the Domestic Asset Allocation Medium Equity and Domestic Asset Allocation Variable Equity sectors of the previous ASISA Fund Classification Standard, excluding the Allan Gray Balanced Fund.

Annualised Returns

as at  31 October 2021

This is a way of reporting the return earned over a period as a percentage per year. Although the figure stated implies that the same percentage return was delivered every year, the actual return in each year may have been more or less than the reported figure, depending on the unit trust’s volatility. Annualised performance reporting simplifies comparison across different time periods and across different types of investments.

Risk measures

as at  31 October 2021

Maximum drawdown (%)
Highest annual return (%)
Lowest annual return (%)

Investment strategy

To achieve the Balanced Fund's goal, we invest in shares of companies, commodities, bonds issued by companies and the government and cash. The Balanced Fund can invest a maximum of 30% offshore, with an additional 10% allowed for investments in Africa outside of South Africa.The offshore portion of the unit trust is typically invested into a mix of unit trusts managed by Orbis Investments, our offshore investment partner.

We determine the mix of assets in the Balanced Fund based on where we are finding the best value. The Balanced Fund is managed to comply with the retirement fund investment limits, its maximum exposure to equities is 75%.

The Balanced Fund may reduce net equity exposure from time to time using exchange-traded derivative contracts on stock market indices.

Month-End Net Equity Exposure

(Max 75%)

Asset allocation
as at  31 October 2021

*The offshore allocation is made up of 26.9% foreign investments outside of Africa and 4.7% in Africa outside of South Africa.

What are the costs?

All the Balanced Fund’s expenses, including the investment management fee, are deducted before performance figures are calculated. There are no separate or additional costs. The total investment charge is broken down below:


Investment management fee1

View fee breakdown

Benchmark performance4

View summary

Out- or underperformance5


Other expenses2




Total expense ratio (TER)3


Transaction costs


Total investment charge

1 Investment management fees are charged for the investment manager’s investment research and decision-making. This figure includes the Allan Gray investment management fee, which is charged only on the portion of the unit trust invested locally, as well as the fees charged by Orbis on the portion invested offshore.  

2 This includes audit fees, taxes and other administration costs.

3 This is a measure of the actual costs that have been deducted from the unit trust over the past three years to 30 September 2021 (annualised).

4 The fee charged for benchmark performance. This figure includes the Allan Gray investment management fee at benchmark, which is charged only on the portion of the unit trust invested locally, as well as the fees charged within the underlying Orbis unit trusts for performance equal to the relevant unit trust’s benchmark. 

5 The portion of the investment management fee that is charged for performance above or below the benchmark performance.  

The investment management fee depends on performance

The fee we charge depends on how well the Balanced Fund performs against its benchmark.

Min: 0.5%   -   Max: 1.5% excluding VAT

  • 1% is charged when the unit trust performance is the same as its benchmark’s performance.
  • If the Balanced Fund beats or fails to achieve benchmark performance (measured over two years), for each percentage difference, we add or deduct 0.1% to the fee.

Note: There may be slight discrepancies in the totals due to rounding.

Important information for investors

Collective Investment Schemes in Securities (unit trusts) are generally medium- to long-term investments. The value of units may go down as well as up and past performance is not necessarily a guide to future performance. The Management Company does not provide any guarantee regarding the capital or the performance of its unit trusts. Unit trusts may be closed to new investments at any time in order for them to be managed according to their mandates. Unit trusts are traded at ruling prices and can engage in borrowing and scrip lending.

Performance figures are provided by Allan Gray and are for lump sum investments with income distributions reinvested. Actual investor performance may differ as a result of the investment date, the date of reinvestment and dividend withholding tax. Movements in exchange rates may also be the cause of the value of underlying international investments going up or down. Unit trust prices are calculated on a net asset value basis, which is the total market value of all assets in the unit trust including any income accruals and less any permissible deductions from the unit trust, divided by the number of units in issue. Forward pricing is used and fund valuations take place at approximately 16:00 each business day. Purchase and redemption requests must be received by 14:00 each business day to receive that day’s price. Unit trust prices are available daily on our prices page. Permissible deductions may include management fees, brokerage, Securities Transfer Tax (STT), auditor’s fees, bank charges and trustee fees. A schedule of fees, charges and maximum commissions is available on request from the Management Company.

The total expense ratio (TER) is the percentage of the unit trust's average assets under management that has been used to pay the unit trust's operating expenses over the past year. The TER includes the annual management fees that have been charged (both the fee at benchmark and any performance component charged), trading costs (including brokerage, STT, STRATE and FSB Investor Protection Levy), VAT and other expenses. Since unit trust expenses vary, the current TER cannot be used as an indication of future TERs. The unit trust’s performance figures are quoted after the deduction of costs incurred within the unit trust so the TER is not a new cost. A higher TER ratio does not necessarily imply a poor return, nor does a low TER imply a good return. Instead, when investing, the investment objective of the unit trust should be aligned with the investor’s objective and compared against the performance of the unit trust. TERs should then be used to evaluate whether the unit trust performance offers value for money.

While this Fund has been approved for marketing to the public in Botswana, by the Regulatory Authority of Botswana, the Fund is not supervised or licensed in Botswana.  It is a registered collective investment scheme portfolio, registered, approved and regulated by the South African Financial Services Board. The Facilities Agent for the Fund in Botswana is Allan Gray (Botswana) (Proprietary) Limited at Plot 545354, 2nd Floor, Building 2, Central Square, New CBD, Gaborone, Botswana where investors can obtain a trust deed and financial reports. 

In accordance with section 11(i) of the Botswana Income Tax act (Chapter 52; 01), an amount accrued to any person shall be deemed to have accrued from a source situated in Botswana where it has accrued to such person in respect of any investment made outside Botswana by a resident of Botswana; provided that section 11 (i) shall not apply to foreign investment income of non-citizens resident in Botswana. Botswana residents who have invested in the shares of the Fund are therefore required to declare income earned from this Fund when preparing their annual tax returns. 

The financial services, products or investments referred to on this website are not available to persons resident in jurisdictions where their availability or distribution would contravene local laws or regulations and the information on this website is not intended for use by these persons. This website is for information only and does not in any way constitute a solicitation or offer by Allan Gray Proprietary Limited or any of its associates or subsidiaries (collectively “Allan Gray”) to buy or sell any financial instruments or to provide any investment advice or service.

By selecting one of the countries below I confirm that I have read and understood the above and that:

(a) I am not a South African citizen; or 
(b) I do not reside in the Republic of South Africa; or 
(c) I am not otherwise a person to whom the communication of the information contained in this website is prohibited by the laws of my home jurisdiction; and 
(d) I am not acting for the benefit of any such persons mentioned in (a),(b) and (c) and 
(e) I confirm that any investment with Allan Gray is based on my own initiative and not due to any offer or solicitation by Allan Gray.