Introduction to Investment Trusts

An investment trust (also known as an investment company) is structured as a company and listed on a stock exchange. It is a type of collective investment, investing in stocks, bonds, property and other assets. An investment trust sells a fixed number of shares at launch and so has a fixed pool of assets to invest. The fixed asset structure means that a trust's share price may be at a discount or premium to the actual value of the underlying assets.

The board of directors will usually delegate the responsibility for investing the assets to a dedicated investment manager. The board will then monitor whether that manager is doing a good job, and replace them if necessary. Investment trusts can also employ gearing – take on debt – to boost investment performance. Of course, this can also work against the trust's performance in a falling market.

Investment trusts are usually bought and sold in the same way as normal shares, though some will be bought through dedicated share schemes run by the companies themselves. Investors who buy through a broker will usually pay a flat dealing fee to move in and out. The annual management charge levied by the investment manager will be reflected in the performance of the trust. Investment trusts are also subject to stamp duty in the same way as normal shares.

Name1 Year (%)3 Years (%)5 Years (%)DiscountNAV
Monks Investment Trust PLC35.4835.7467.24-9.85567.36Buy
Scottish American Investment Company PLC33.5839.7277.084.35299.48Buy
Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust PLC38.3082.50171.331.68318.46Buy
3i Group Plc Ord41.98100.48299.8237.58463.00Buy
3i Group Plc Pref-----Buy
3i Infrastructure18.4280.41118.6517.76161.00Buy
AXA Property Trust Limited Ord NPV17.3841.7438.49-17.7268.82Buy
Aberdeen Asian Income Ord34.606.2649.49-6.67210.55Buy
Aberdeen Japan Investment Trust PLC Ord 10p14.4248.38106.31-12.05576.48Buy
Aberdeen Latin American Income Ltd Ord59.16-11.94-2.11-12.2875.67Buy
Aberforth Smaller Companies Trust plc Ord-2.9413.07117.13-14.601,217.80Buy
Aberforth Geared Income Trust Plc ZDP 1P3.1412.6434.81--Buy
Aberforth Geared Income Trust Plc Ord 1P2.4846.33181.79-10.99216.56Buy
Aberdeen Emerging Markets Investment Company Limited Ord NPV32.9716.5518.28-15.00582.35Buy
Aberdeen Frontier Markets Investment Company Limited Ord 1P20.6915.0250.75-7.3965.87Buy
Aberdeen UK Tracker Trust Plc Ord 10P15.4218.2163.80-5.51339.72Buy
Aberdeen Asian Smaller Companies Investment Trust PLC Ord37.213.9866.47-13.961,096.60Buy
Aberdeen Asian Smaller Companies Investment Trust PLC Convertible Unsecured Loan Stock 201910.597.51---Buy
Aberdeen New Dawn Investment Trust PLC Ord 5p33.6412.7036.17-13.56216.04Buy
Aberdeen New Thai Investment Trust PLC Ord 25p35.7921.4594.39-16.20557.88Buy
Aberdeen Private Equity Ltd GBP20.9033.5595.51-27.17143.32Buy
Aberdeen Smaller Companies Income Trust PLC Ord 50p-2.975.95123.94-21.10259.18Buy
Acencia Debt Strategies Ltd-5.001.8432.7525.861.15Buy

Featured Manager Videos

Investment trust analysis

Thu, 29th September 2016 - 12:07

For canny investors, trusts that hold trusts are a way to stack up discounts and boost returns. Fiona Hamilton examines some of the best 'funds-of-funds' around.

Wed, 28th September 2016 - 12:20

After a rocky few years, this traditionally high-risk sector perked up in 2016, with healthy increases in returns. Marina Gerner asks whether those good times can keep rolling.

Mon, 26th September 2016 - 11:27

Money Observer's Lima portfolio targets growing income at higher risk and, despite a tough start to 2016, it's delivered impressive gains. Marina Gerner explains how.