AIC: Trust purchases turn negative for the first time since 2011

Sales of investment companies overtook purchases by £53m

Downward percentage


Purchases of investment trusts on adviser platforms fell 28% to £948m in 2023, down from 2022’s record high of £1.3bn, according to new data from the Association of Investment Companies (AIC).

Demand for trusts turned negative for the first time since 2011 last year, with sales of investment companies exceeding purchases by £53m.

Nick Britton, research director at the AIC, said: “Last year was challenging for investment trusts with the average discount reaching its widest level since the financial crisis.”

Demand for trusts may have slumped last year, but investors also had less interest in all products on adviser platforms. Purchases of all assets dropped 3% to £179.2bn, down from £184.9bn the year before.

Some trusts were more popular than others, with portfolios in the IT Global sector accounting for 11% of all purchases of investment companies last year. It raked in £88.5bn in 2023, but overall sales still outweighed purchases by £51.8bn.

The IT Flexible Investment and IT Infrastructure sectors were the next most popular areas, accounting for 19% of investment trust purchases in 2023, yet net demand was down £22.2bn and £24.9bn respectively.

Nevertheless, Britton pointed out that some sectors – such as IT Renewable Energy Infrastructure, IT UK Smaller Companies and IT Global Equity Income – had positive transactions. These three sectors collected £35.7m in 2023, accounting for 14% of trust sales collectively.

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