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 PLC55.4757.38100.90-3.37630.23Buy
Scottish American Investment Company PLC41.8346.1386.882.37319.81Buy
Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust PLC41.3063.48196.672.52335.93Buy
3i Group Plc Pref-----Buy
3i Group Plc Ord74.19105.90398.7031.22551.00Buy
3i Infrastructure14.9275.12117.5713.64165.70Buy
AXA Property Trust Limited Ord NPV17.2677.0988.72-13.1771.40Buy
Aberdeen Asian Income Ord53.9325.9047.71--Buy
Aberdeen Japan Investment Trust PLC Ord 10p28.0056.91106.79-9.57616.48Buy
Aberdeen New India Investment Trust PLC Ord 25P27.3580.5885.09-11.56429.81Buy
Aberdeen Smaller Companies Income Trust PLC Ord 50p1.84-0.98129.91-23.98269.00Buy
Aberdeen UK Tracker Trust PLC Ord 10P25.0320.0663.80-6.97366.02Buy
Aberdeen Latin American Income Ltd Ord72.929.82-5.06--Buy
Aberforth Smaller Companies Trust plc Ord4.135.50139.81-16.181,331.35Buy
Aberforth Geared Income Trust Plc ZDP 1P2.3514.7535.481.61155.00Buy
Aberforth Geared Income Trust Plc Ord 1P13.7531.29222.49-10.82230.43Buy
Aberdeen Frontier Markets Investment Company Limited Ord 1P35.1318.1668.35-6.8369.63Buy
Aberdeen Emerging Markets Investment Company Limited Ord 1p NPV42.5529.1827.94-13.60617.51Buy
Aberdeen Asian Smaller Companies Investment Trust PLC Ord 25p39.1525.5274.31-13.541,138.45Buy
Aberdeen Asian Smaller Companies Investment Trust PLC Convertible Unsecured Loan Stock 201917.7220.54---Buy
Aberdeen New Dawn Investment Trust PLC Ord 5p48.5729.1647.27-12.53228.66Buy
Aberdeen New Thai Investment Trust PLC Ord 25p48.0653.81106.36-14.32601.10Buy
Aberdeen Private Equity Ltd GBP39.6872.90168.52-19.21148.85Buy

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