A total of 36 investment trusts still going today pre-date the Queen’s accession to the throne, new research has found.Some investment trusts have had double platinum jubilees but the reign of investment trusts has been usurped by unit trusts.
Investment trusts v unit trusts- which are better for investors?
Laith Khalaf, head of investment analysis at AJ Bell, comments: “Seventy years and counting is a pretty good innings for a monarch, but for some investment trusts, it’s only half the time they have been in existence. The UK investment trust industry can chart its history back to 1868, when Queen Victoria sat on the throne, and Foreign and Colonial Investment trust was launched. The trust is still going strong today, having witnessed the reign of six British monarchs, though it’s investment focus is now global shares, rather than the overseas government bonds it held at launch.
“In total, 36 investment trusts have been around since before Queen Elizabeth II acceded to the throne, including well-known trusts like Scottish Mortgage (launched 1909), City of London (1888) and Bankers trust (1888), though names and investment mandates may have changed over the years. Many of the first investment trusts were created in Scotland to house the wealth created by the jute boom in the latter half of the nineteenth century, and a good number retain their Scottish heritage through their names and their management today.
“Despite its longevity, the investment trust industry’s primacy has been usurped by a relatively young pretender in the form of unit trusts. The first such fund was launched by M&G in 1931, and today open-ended funds account for around £1.5 trillion of investment, compared to around £270 billion from investment trusts. Of course, the closed-ended nature of investment trusts limits their size compared to their open-ended cousins. Consider that after 150 years, the F&C Investment Trust is one of the biggest in the market, with assets of £5.6 billion, while the open-ended Fundsmith Equity is worth £25.5 billion, a little over a decade since it was launched.
“The following list shows the 36 investment trusts that have been going since before Queen Elizabeth II acceded to the throne in 1952. The five oldest have already celebrated double platinum jubilees (having been in existence for more than 140 years). Also included is the performance over the last twenty years, since the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Year. (Unfortunately aggregated performance data stretching back to 1952 is not available).