Books that cover the investment trust sector used to be pretty thin on the ground, reflecting the low profile nature of the industry, but we’ve seen a resurgence in interest in the past couple of years.
If you purchase any of them through the links below then I may earn a small referral fee. Some of the older titles seem to be out of print so there are only second-hand copies available.
Written by Andrew McHattie, who has published the monthly Investment Trust Newsletter since 1996, this is the most recently published book on this list.
I’ve known Andrew for a couple of decades and he kindly sent me a review copy. It’s a comprehensive look at the sector, packed with useful and up-to-date examples to illustrate many of the nuances of investment trusts.
The fourth edition of Jonathan Davis’s annual round-up of investment trusts has just been published.
Like the previous versions, it has plenty of excellent insights on the year just gone, thoughts on what might come next, and informative interviews from numerous industry experts. The Kindle/ebook version is free or you can pay up for the hardcover.
The FT’s guide is probably the best-known title on investment trusts. It’s written by John Baron, who runs his own subscription service offering investment trust portfolios and who also writes a monthly column for the Investors Chronicle.
The second edition was published in August 2020.
This book covers the rise and dramatic fall of Neil Woodford.
Most of the focus is on his income funds, both at Invesco Perpetual and at the ill-fated Woodford Investment Management. It also touches on Woodford Patient Capital Trust which was the largest new investment trust IPO for many years.
There is another book covering the Woodford saga called When The Fund Stops.
This book covers the birth of the investment trust industry in the 1860s and its subsequent development. It’s over 20 years old now and only second-hand copies seem to be available.
Baillie Gifford, the firm that runs Scottish Mortgage, Monks, Scottish American etc, has had a very rich history.
This was published in 2008 but second-hand copies occasionally become available.
Alliance Trust often made the headlines for all the wrong reasons over the last decade, with a long-running saga over its online investment platform and management changes. But it now seems to be back on track.
This was published in 2013, so it doesn’t cover most of the recent drama, but there was plenty going on in the trust’s first 125 years.
In the early 2000s, these niche investment trusts gave their shareholders a whole world of pain. The concept of split-capital trusts largely died out as a result.
It’s a reminder of the twin dangers of too much debt and too much complexity when it comes to investing. Not the industry’s finest hour!
The oldest investment trust, which dates back to 1858, recently ditched its full moniker in favour of just F&C.
I came across this 44-page PDF on the Aberdeen website while researching an article. Essential (and free) reading if you hold this popular global equity income fund. This is the second edition published in 2018.
Aberdeen Standard has also produced something similar for Dunedin Income Growth, which was the first investment trust to be launched in Scotland in 1873 by Robert Fleming.
Now known as AVI Global, this is a free 58-page PDF that covers this trust’s history from 1889 to 2016.
Please note that I may own some of the investments mentioned above -- you can see my current holdings on my portfolio page.
Nothing on this website should be regarded as a buy or sell recommendation as I'm just a random person writing a blog in his spare time and I am not authorised to give financial advice. Always do your own research and seek financial advice if necessary!
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