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 PLC40.6446.0579.88-7.12591.08Buy
Scottish American Investment Company PLC28.7033.2479.54-0.11310.83Buy
Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust PLC38.5479.69180.762.62328.39Buy
3i Group Plc Ord42.13104.92315.1441.36463.00Buy
3i Group Plc Pref-----Buy
3i Infrastructure17.4579.94125.26--Buy
AXA Property Trust Limited Ord NPV25.2556.6861.40-9.7368.82Buy
Aberdeen Asian Income Ord32.7810.5653.71-6.27219.25Buy
Aberdeen Japan Investment Trust PLC Ord 10p17.2049.47105.07-13.17596.01Buy
Aberdeen Latin American Income Ltd Ord65.200.265.05-11.3184.56Buy
Aberforth Smaller Companies Trust plc Ord-7.809.60122.79-15.801,213.80Buy
Aberforth Geared Income Trust Plc ZDP 1P3.8013.3635.78--Buy
Aberforth Geared Income Trust Plc Ord 1P-1.7741.04197.29-12.99216.35Buy
Aberdeen Frontier Markets Investment Company Limited Ord 1P26.6724.5858.33-6.1470.85Buy
Aberdeen Emerging Markets Investment Company Limited Ord 1p NPV33.6221.4632.48-12.47612.33Buy
Aberdeen UK Tracker Trust Plc Ord 10P12.1619.5263.58-6.98348.30Buy
Aberdeen Asian Smaller Companies Investment Trust PLC Ord36.943.2581.27-14.111,155.00Buy
Aberdeen Asian Smaller Companies Investment Trust PLC Convertible Unsecured Loan Stock 201911.268.66---Buy
Aberdeen New Dawn Investment Trust PLC Ord 5p28.1615.6747.57-13.36226.80Buy
Aberdeen New Thai Investment Trust PLC Ord 25p33.9720.14108.29-15.19576.00Buy
Aberdeen Private Equity Ltd GBP25.5938.26116.70-25.83142.74Buy
Aberdeen Smaller Companies Income Trust PLC Ord 50p-4.481.24118.56-23.80259.01Buy
Acencia Debt Strategies Ltd-4.152.9237.7625.641.15Buy

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Investment trust analysis

Fri, 21st October 2016 - 15:40

A newly released list of the biggest-yielding investment company sectors reveals many trading on a premium, but the tasty top performer has a discount, reports Marina Gerner.

Wed, 19th October 2016 - 12:38

Andrew Pitts names 10 trusts whose price/assets ratio has shifted furthest since the Brexit vote, revealing some apparent cheapies - and one on an eyewatering premium.

Tue, 18th October 2016 - 09:00

Money Observer's own investment trust bargain hunter Kyle Caldwell reveals an award winning European trust with a champion yield, shoved onto a record discount by Brexit.