An experienced fund management team follow a stated mission to manage categories of Unit Trust in areas such as UK Growth, Far East, Emerging Markets and Special Situations. The management select stocks for the trust and continually buy and sell shares according to the mission and market conditions.
Unit Trusts enable you to spread risk by investing in the numerous companies within the trust whilst benefiting from the experienced management team who continually monitor, buy and sell shares accordingly.
An Introduction to Unit Trusts
Over the last twenty years Unit Trusts have become an increasingly popular way of investing capital and today there are many hundreds of unit trust funds, investing in Stock Markets around the world.
Unit trusts are often described as collective or packaged investments and this means that investors have a financial stake in an investment fund, which may invest in a wide range of securities, including stocks and shares. This allows even a small investor to participate in a large portfolio of shares with many other investors, through the holding of units in a fund.
The number of units held depends on how much capital is invested and the price at the time units are bought. Because most unit trusts are invested in stocks and shares, as you might imagine the price of the unit trust will go up and down in line with what is happening to the underlying investments.
Types of unit trust
Each trust has specific objectives and because of this there are over twenty different unit trust categories.
These cover UK funds, overseas funds and specialist funds. UK funds include Growth, Income, Smaller Companies, Gilts and Corporate Bonds. The objectives of the Growth and Income funds is obvious, the Gilt and Corporate Bond funds invest in fixed interest securities, whilst the Smaller Companies funds invest most of the assets in, as you might imagine, smaller companies.
There are a large number of International funds, which allow investors to either have a broad international spread of investment or to invest in countries or regions including North America, Europe, Japan and the Far East. Specialist funds include Technology funds and Commodity and Energy funds.
Unit trusts and ISA's
You may hold unit trusts in a stocks & shares ISA subject to the general ISA rules for qualifying share investments. You will be able to buy and sell unit trusts within your online account and also be free to buy in other shares or funds that qualify.
Which funds qualify for ISA ?
Within the account you will be able to see whether a share or fund can be added to your isa. If the share does not qualify you will be unable to add the share to account.
You may take out a stocks & shares ISA and invest your full allowance in unit trusts. Many unit trusts allow regular monthly savings from as little as £25, whereas many unit trusts set a minimum £50 for regular contributions, often rising to £250 on many popular funds.
There is no capital gains or income tax to be paid on returns, one of the few breaks for taxpayers. The investment options within each type of ISA are funds, unit trusts, bonds, stocks and shares, cash and insurance.
Who should consider a Unit Trust
Unit trusts are attractive to a large number of people for different reasons, these include:
- Investors who have only a small amount of capital and are unhappy investing in just one or two shares. Unit trusts will give them an investment in a large portfolio of shares.
- Individuals who recognize the potential of equity investment but would prefer to have professional management rather than making day to day investment decisions themselves.
- Those with existing share portfolios who perhaps enjoy investing in shares but feel more comfortable having part of their portfolio professionally managed.
- UK investors wishing to invest capital in overseas markets.
Unit Trust Charges
There are usually two charges on a unit trust, the initial charge, typically up to 6% and an annual management charge of typically 1% to 1.5%.
Units trusts have two prices, an Offer price and a Bid price. Units are bought at the higher offer price and sold at the lower bid price, the difference between the two prices is known as the spread and includes the initial charge.
Unit Trust Initial Charge Discounts
Note that many fund managers discount the initial charge significantly and it pays to check the offers that are available.
Unit Trust Taxation
Capital Gains tax may be payable on any profits made when the unit trust is sold. Dividends are subject to income tax in the same way as dividends from equities. The actual tax position will depend on your individual circumstances although funds held in an ISA are free of capital gains tax.
Stock Market Risk
Stock markets go up and down. You should remember that risk and reward are linked. In general terms, the higher the potential, the higher the risk. If investment in a building society deposit account can be described as low risk, then investments in unit trusts can range fromm low to medium risk in the case of most Gilt funds, to medium risk for most UK Growth and Income Funds, through to high risk for Specialist funds.
Trading Funds Online
You can open an online stocks & shares ISA in ten minutes with TD Direct Investing. TD Direct Investing provide a market leading online ISA account backed up by latest market news, trading tools and online support. Links Below.