Investment Trusts from the Past for the Future

Five investment trusts are celebrating their 125th birthday this year. Morningstar analyst Jackie Beard explains why they have lasted so long and what the future holds

Jackie Beard, FCSI 25 February, 2014 | 12:01AM
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This year, five investment trusts are celebrating their 125th birthday: British Empire (BTEM), F&C Global Smaller Companies (FCS), Merchants (MRCH), Edinburgh Investment Trust (EDIN) and Law Debenture (LWDB). A handful of their peers are even older – Foreign & Colonial Investment Trust (FRCL) was already 21 years old when these quas-quas-quicentennial celebrators were born.

So why is it that these investment trusts have enjoyed such longevity and age so much better than some of their peers? One answer lies in their ability to adapt to the current investing environment.

Foreign & Colonial Investment Trust, which launched in 1868, had a very different look when it started out, with investments comprised primarily of government bonds.  But as investment opportunities changed and stock markets evolved, so did the fund, and in 1925, the fund started to invest in equities.  In marked contrast to its holdings at launch, today that fund has less than 1% invested in bonds.

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Securities Mentioned in Article

Security NamePriceChange (%)Morningstar
AVI Global Trust Ord952.00 GBP-0.21Rating
BMO Global Smaller Companies Ord160.20 GBP0.25Rating
Edinburgh Investment Ord595.01 GBP-0.50Rating
F&C Investment Trust Ord857.00 GBP0.12Rating
Law Debenture Corporation Ord726.09 GBP-1.08Rating
Merchants Trust Ord508.07 GBP1.21Rating
North American Income Trust Ord275.90 GBP0.88Rating
Scottish Widows UK All Share Track I Acc303.70 GBP0.36Rating

About Author

Jackie Beard, FCSI

Jackie Beard, FCSI  is Director of Manager Research Services, Morningstar EMEA

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