A total of 36 investment funds still in operation today predate the Queen’s accession to the throne, according to new research.
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Laith Khalaf, head of investment analysis at AJ Bell, comments: “Seventy and counting is a good enough run for a monarch, but for some investment trusts it’s only half the time. they exist. The UK investment fund industry can trace its history back to 1868 when Queen Victoria sat on the throne and the Foreign and Colonial Investment Fund was launched. Confidence is still strong today, having witnessed the reigns of six British monarchs, although the focus is now on global equities, rather than the foreign government bonds it held at launch.
“A total of 36 investment trusts have existed since before Queen Elizabeth II came to the throne, including well-known trusts like Scottish Mortgage (launched in 1909), City of London (1888) and Bankers trust (1888) , although names and investment mandates may have changed over the years. Many of the earliest investment funds were set up in Scotland to house the wealth created by the jute boom in the second half of the 19th century, and many retain their Scottish heritage through their names and management today.
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“Despite its longevity, the primacy of the investment fund industry has been usurped by a relatively young contender in the form of mutual funds. The first such fund was launched by M&G in 1931, and today open-ended funds represent around £1.5 trillion of investment, compared to around £270 billion for investment trusts. Of course, the closed 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 largest in the market, with assets of £5.6bn, while the open-ended Fundsmith Equity is worth £25.5bn, just over a decade since its launch.
“The following list shows the 36 investment trusts that have been around since before Queen Elizabeth II came to the throne in 1952. The oldest five have already celebrated the Double Platinum Jubilee (they have been around for over 140 years). Also included is performance for the last twenty years, since the year of the Queen’s Jubilee (unfortunately, aggregate performance data going back to 1952 is not available).