June 13, 2024

AIC expands investment trust research for investors

The Association of Investment Companies (AIC) has expanded its research offering for investment trust investors. Research from various providers is now available on the AIC’s website theaic.co.uk.

This research is from Edison Group, Hardman & Co, Kepler, QuotedData and others and can be accessed on theaic.co.uk. This research is often paid for by investment companies themselves, and any opinions and ratings in this research are not endorsed by the AIC.

Two kinds of research are available on the AIC’s site. Investment company research focuses on an individual company’s performance and prospects, providing in-depth commentary and analysis. Thematic research looks more broadly at investment sectors, themes, strategies and trends that can be accessed via several investment trusts.

Annabel Brodie-Smith, Communications Director at the Association of Investment Companies (AIC), said: “We hope these research reports will help investors discover more, whether they are researching new investment trusts or reviewing trusts in their portfolio. We’ve brought this research together so investors can easily find reports that relate to a particular investment trust or a theme that interests them. 

“This new expanded research on the AIC’s website complements the wide range of free resources available for investors. Whether it’s detailed company information, reports and accounts, factsheets, portfolios, performance data or access to company events and presentations, theaic.co.uk provides a one-stop shop for investors looking to learn more about investment trusts.”

The Association of Investment Companies (AIC) has collated comments from Edison Group, Kepler, Hardman & Co and QuotedData about how their research can help investment trust users, including tips on how to select a trust and avoid common investment pitfalls.

William Heathcoat Amory, Managing Partner of Kepler Partners, said: “We have seen a notable increase in retail appetite for our research; today, 77% of Kepler Trust Intelligence’s audience are private investors. Providing high-quality, timely research in a digestible format is at the core of our offering, with a whole-of-market approach rather than only covering our clients. In recent years, we have expanded from written research and events into forms of content that chime with a retail audience, such as podcast and video. 

“Platform functionality is also a big focus; we have introduced a range of new features aimed at making information more accessible, educating a new audience of investors and promoting the wider industry. These include a follow function to allow investors to focus on specific trusts and a fund finder to help less experienced investors find things that are of interest, quicker.”

Robert Murphy, Managing Director of Edison Group, said: “Essentially, we have something for every type of investor. For more experienced investors doing detailed due diligence, our longer written pieces highlight the investment backdrop, the manager, the investment process and the portfolio breakdown, and what makes the company different from its peers. We also provide an analysis of performance and include information about the dividend track record, fee structure, gearing and the premium/discount to NAV. For those investors looking for a higher-level approach or browsing for ideas, our video content, shorter notes and thematic pieces are a good place to start.

“Edison’s investment company research is freely available to all investors. We cover around 60 investment companies and REITs. Our research offering not only includes traditional company and thematic reports, but also audio/video content such as manager interviews, webinars, equity proposition videos and podcasts.” 

What are your tips for investors selecting an investment trust? 

Keith Hiscock, Chief Executive of Hardman & Co, said: “For any investment, it is critical that investors understand the opportunities and risks they face. With an investment company these are not only driven by the assets, but also by the manager and balance sheet structure. At Hardman & Co, analysts use their decades of experience and deep sector knowledge to identify what drives the assets, both today and in the future. Their experience means managers’ skills and balance sheet structures go through a thorough review bespoke to the industry and market. Sponsored research thus brings investors invaluable insights into the key drivers of shareholder value.”

Are there any pitfalls to watch out for? 

Edward Marten, CEO of QuotedData.com, said: “Please don’t pile into an investment just because it has been performing well or sell it because it has gone through a rough patch. Take the time to understand what has been driving returns and think about whether that may change in the future. We’d like to think that our research will help you with this level of detail, and would encourage you to take advantage of this free resource.”

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