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 PLC52.3478.36102.66-0.93655.10Buy
Scottish American Investment Company PLC29.6956.1185.924.20329.18Buy
Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust PLC43.9897.68194.843.22363.29Buy
3i Group Plc Ord72.61137.81428.6043.28558.00Buy
3i Group Plc Pref-----Buy
3i Infrastructure13.8182.79114.7117.74165.70Buy
AXA Property Trust Limited Ord NPV4.9266.8892.70-14.9568.93Buy
Aberdeen Diversified Income and Growth Trust Plc Ord 25p3.02-0.2722.68-5.85124.01Buy
Aberdeen Asian Income Ord27.5524.6239.47--Buy
Aberdeen Japan Investment Trust PLC Ord 10p15.3670.3979.96-12.84616.14Buy
Aberdeen New India Investment Trust PLC Ord 25P37.0497.74118.23-11.18491.98Buy
Aberdeen Smaller Companies Income Trust PLC Ord 50p20.9516.27125.17-19.63289.28Buy
Aberdeen Latin American Income Ltd Ord44.9114.68-4.87--Buy
Aberforth Smaller Companies Trust plc Ord23.1319.76135.79-12.011,442.14Buy
Aberforth Geared Income Trust Plc ZDP 1P3.7612.1130.180.41157.85Buy
Aberforth Geared Income Trust Plc Ord 1P41.1966.03225.04-5.03259.70Buy
Aberdeen Frontier Markets Investment Company Limited Ord 1P28.4915.3760.88-5.3570.52Buy
Aberdeen Emerging Markets Investment Company Limited Ord 1p NPV29.6836.3025.95-14.05636.68Buy
Aberdeen Asian Smaller Companies Investment Trust PLC Ord 25p26.8827.0550.17-12.621,170.79Buy
Aberdeen Asian Smaller Companies Investment Trust PLC Convertible Unsecured Loan Stock 201916.7520.57---Buy
Aberdeen New Dawn Investment Trust PLC Ord 5p39.6735.1448.28-12.55244.70Buy
Aberdeen New Thai Investment Trust PLC Ord 25p29.4345.6678.26-14.56610.68Buy
Aberdeen Private Equity Ltd GBP40.6153.09127.33-19.64147.31Buy

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