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 PLC50.3461.3093.27-4.10644.42Buy
Scottish American Investment Company PLC34.6355.9775.071.22328.99Buy
Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust PLC44.6977.09175.294.24345.73Buy
3i Group Plc Ord62.24100.81319.9827.51558.00Buy
3i Group Plc Pref-----Buy
3i Infrastructure16.2081.20118.7416.72165.70Buy
AXA Property Trust Limited Ord NPV13.0873.5098.17-12.2368.93Buy
Aberdeen Diversified Income and Growth Trust Plc Ord 25p-1.99-1.4114.90-6.89123.24Buy
Aberdeen Asian Income Ord33.1130.6334.66--Buy
Aberdeen Japan Investment Trust PLC Ord 10p23.6074.3984.16-11.87627.49Buy
Aberdeen New India Investment Trust PLC Ord 25P39.66103.4789.42-12.50486.00Buy
Aberdeen Smaller Companies Income Trust PLC Ord 50p15.876.67110.39-22.77277.74Buy
Aberdeen UK Tracker Trust PLC Ord 10P24.8026.6659.28-6.15364.93Buy
Aberdeen Latin American Income Ltd Ord51.1724.09-6.38--Buy
Aberforth Smaller Companies Trust plc Ord19.736.27111.58-14.631,388.03Buy
Aberforth Geared Income Trust Plc ZDP 1P3.9412.8328.920.88156.87Buy
Aberforth Geared Income Trust Plc Ord 1P34.3447.93193.84-8.47246.64Buy
Aberdeen Frontier Markets Investment Company Limited Ord 1P29.1317.2957.99-7.7271.66Buy
Aberdeen Emerging Markets Investment Company Limited Ord 1p NPV31.5138.1519.05-15.53639.84Buy
Aberdeen Asian Smaller Companies Investment Trust PLC Ord 25p29.6632.9549.57-15.561,190.20Buy
Aberdeen Asian Smaller Companies Investment Trust PLC Convertible Unsecured Loan Stock 201918.7922.30---Buy
Aberdeen New Dawn Investment Trust PLC Ord 5p39.9542.9741.97-14.69247.34Buy
Aberdeen New Thai Investment Trust PLC Ord 25p27.9839.6270.94-17.16611.44Buy

Featured Manager Videos

Investment trust analysis

Thu, 23rd March 2017 - 08:56

Rob Griffin gives you the lowdown on investment trusts' key features and how they compare to other types of investment on cost and performance.

Tue, 21st March 2017 - 10:24

This investment trust is a favourite with income investors and is trading on a wider-than-normal discount of 6%, finds Kyle Caldwell.

Mon, 13th March 2017 - 10:03

Fund managers with the flexibility to go off-piste and run high-conviction portfolios stand to prosper in times like these. Jennifer Hill names five of the best.