A unit trust is a collective investment vehicle. They are created under a trust deed and funds are managed by a professional fund manager. The fund manager is responsible for investing your money which is pooled with funds from other investors. When you invest your money you purchase units at the offer price and sell at the bid price.
Unit trusts make money by investing in a wide variety of investments. For example, there are funds which invest solely in British, European, US or Asian-Pacific companies. If you want to diversify based on market sector rather than geography, you can also find fund managers who manage portfolios focusing on industries such as technology, ethical companies or emerging markets.
The overall size of the fund will expand and shrink depending on the number of investors buying or selling their units.
Many unit trusts let you choose whether you want to take returns as income or growth. You can buy ‘income units’ that make regular payouts or ‘accumulation units’ which are automatically reinvested into the investment fund.
The value of investments and the income they produce can fall as well as rise. You may get back less than you invested.
Tax treatment varies according to individual circumstances and is subject to change.
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