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Lessons from investment trusts’ heritage

Investment trusts are returning to their pioneering 19th century roots by financing a period of rapid technological change
Lessons from investment trusts’ heritage
  • History suggests commitment to a high dividend can damage total returns
  • Focus on innovation has served well-managed investment trusts well 

Investment trusts are the oldest type of collective investment vehicle: a Victorian invention, designed to raise private capital to fund new developments, many of them overseas, and to give individual investors diversified access to the stock market. 

A number of the earliest investment trusts are still popular today. F&C Investment Trust (FCIT), for example, was the world’s first collective investment scheme, established in 1868 as the Foreign & Colonial Government Trust. Set up by visionary Philip Rose, who became financial adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, the aim was to make investing available to those of “moderate means” for the first time. 

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