The top 20 investment trusts being sized up by investors

Fears of the end of the bull market has seen one trust rise to the top. 

Funds and Investment Trusts July 16, 2019 by Tom Bailey

The Association of Investment Companies (AIC) has revealed the 20 investment trusts that received the most website page views in the first half of 2019.

The number of page views a trust gets on the AIC’s website can be taken as indicative of what investment trusts, or types of investment trusts, investors have been interested in.

Topping the list was City of London, up three places from the year before. Driving this increased interest was likely a growing fear that the bull market, now a decade old, is coming to an end. The trust, managed by veteran investor Job Curtis, is generally seen as a defensive investment with a reliable dividend.

That chimes with the slight dip in interest in Scottish Mortgage. Although still the second most viewed trust, it had formally occupied the top spot. The trust, managed by James Anderson, invests in global growth stocks, primarily in the tech sector.

Trusts with strong dividend payments continued to dominate the rankings. A total of 12 investment trust’s classed as “dividend heroes”, trusts that have increased their dividends for at least two decades, were in the top 20 list.

Shooting up the rankings by 31 places compared with last year was Woodford Patient Capital. This is likely off the back of the high-profile suspension of Woodford Equity Income at the start of June. The open-ended fund was suspended so that the manager, Neil Woodford, could shift its portfolio away from unlisted and illiquid stocks it holds.

However, both the open-ended fund and Woodford Patient Capital share a number of illiquid stock holdings. This stoked fears that Woodford would be forced into a fire sale, driving down the price of assets in his trust. Many views of the trust’s page were perhaps investors cross-checking holdings.

But not all views were necessarily with an eye to sell. According to data from interactive investor, the best-selling investment trust in June of this year was Woodford Patient Capital. The trust’s declining share price appears to have attracted bargain hunters, but as ever time will tell whether investors have picked up a bargain or caught a falling knife.

Investment trust AIC sector Rank and movement in places from 2018
City of London UK Equity Income 1 (▲3)
Scottish Mortgage Global 2 (▼1)
Murray International Global Equity Income 3 ( - )
Finsbury Growth & Income UK Equity Income 4 (▲3)
F&C Investment Trust Global 5 ( - )
Merchants UK Equity Income 6 (▲3)
Edinburgh Investment UK Equity Income 7 (▲3)
Henderson Far East Income Asia Pacific Income 8 (▲10)
Bankers Global 9 (▲2)
European Assets European Smaller Companies 10 (▼4)
BMO Global Smaller Companies Global Smaller Companies 11 (▲8)
Scottish American Global Equity Income 12 (▲11)
Alliance Trust Global 13 (▼1)
Temple Bar UK Equity Income 14 (▲1)
Perpetual Income & Growth UK Equity Income 15 (▲7)
Witan Global 16 ( - )
Edinburgh Worldwide Global Smaller Companies 17 (▼3)
Caledonia Flexible Investment 18 (▲10)
JPMorgan Global Growth & Income Global Equity Income 19 (▼6)
Woodford Patient Capital Growth Capital 20 (▲31)


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