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Investing in the UK stock market – 3 investment trust ideas

Looking for UK stock market investment ideas? Here are three expert investment trusts ideas.
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Important information - This article isn’t personal advice. If you’re not sure whether an investment is right for you please seek advice. If you choose to invest the value of your investment will rise and fall, so you could get back less than you put in.

When it comes to delivering consistent income growth, investment trusts hold an advantage over funds. They can hold back up to 15% of their income when times are good – and dip into reserves to make up any shortfall when times are tougher.

They have greater flexibility to ease some of the shocks of the stock market to help maintain a rising income through periods of volatility. Lots of investment trusts boast impressive records of growing dividends paid to shareholders over the long term.

There are some great investment trusts investing in the UK that are currently trading at a discount to their net asset values (NAV),making it an attractive time to invest.

These trusts are invested in lots of market-leading companies selling their goods and services across the globe, so they aren’t just reliant on the strength of the UK economy to thrive.

Investing in these trusts isn’t right for everyone. Investors should only invest if the trust’s objectives are aligned with their own, and there’s a specific need for the type of investment being made. You should understand the specific risks of a trust before investing, and make sure any new investment forms part of a diversified portfolio.

This isn’t personal advice or a recommendation to invest. All investments and any income from them can fall as well as rise in value, so you could get back less than you invest. Past performance also isn’t a guide to future returns. Remember, yields are variable and no dividend is ever guaranteed. If you’re not sure an investment is right for you, ask for financial advice.

Information correct as at 25 April 2024 unless otherwise stated.

All of the investment trusts featured here have the flexibility to use gearing (borrowing money to invest), which increases risk if used because any gains or losses are amplified.

These investment trusts also have the flexibility to use derivatives, which increases risk if used.

City of London – over half a century of dividend increases

Vastly experienced UK equity income investor Job Curtis has been managing this trust for more than 30 years. The trust aims to provide long-term growth in income and capital by mainly investing in large UK companies.

The trust invests in good-quality, well-managed companies, which can be bought at a reasonable share price.

Curtis likes larger, more stable companies which often have multinational operations that are robust enough to weather economic storms. These companies need to generate plenty of cash to pay dividends now and be able to grow the dividends they pay in the future.

The trust holds the record for the investment company that’s increased its dividend each year for the longest period – now standing at 57 years.

Recently, it’s made effective use of revenue reserves built up in the good times, continuing to increase the dividends paid to investors through the difficult pandemic period. This was despite many UK companies cutting or suspending their dividends during the uncertainty.

In the trust’s last financial year, its dividend was fully covered again by revenues.

At the time of writing the trust trades at a discount of 2.35% and has a dividend yield of 4.88%.

Prices delayed by at least 15 minutes

Fidelity Special Values – focus on unloved companies

Manager Alex Wright employs a contrarian investment approach and invests in unloved large, medium-sized and higher-risk smaller companies.

Wright has over 20 years investment experience and is supported by a large, well-resourced team of investment professionals at Fidelity.

Wright invests in companies that are often ignored by other investors. Maybe they’ve missed a profit target, or the management team made some unpopular decisions.

Either way, he must believe the company is on the road to recovery. As it improves, its share price should rise as other investors recognise the change. As the price rises, Wright gradually takes profits and moves on to the next unloved opportunity.

The manager's focus on unloved companies stands out from many other UK-focused investment trusts. While investment styles go in and out of favour, we like that Wright has never changed from his investment approach.

At the time of writing the trust trades at a discount of 9.94% and has a dividend yield of 3.02%.

Prices delayed by at least 15 minutes

Merchants Trust – looking for higher yields

Manager Simon Gergelaims for long-term growth in income and capital by mainly investing in higher yielding UK companies. The process blends his views on company prospects, their valuations, and the environment they operate in.

Gergel assesses how good a business is and looks for opportunities. Like where a company’s shares are undervalued compared to its ability to generate cash year after year. He also considers if factors in the industry and the economy are likely to be a tailwind or a headwind for the company’s prospects.

The trust has an impressive dividend track record, increasing the payout to investors for the last 41 years.

In recent years, it’s made effective use of revenue reserves built up in the good times – it too managed to increase dividends through the pandemic.

In the trust’s last financial year, its dividend was fully covered again by revenues.

At the time of writing the trust trades at a discount of 0.56% and has a dividend yield of 5.18%.

Prices delayed by at least 15 minutes
Get investing in the UK with £100 of free trades

You can get back £100 of online share dealing charges until 21 June.

We’ll refund the first £100 of dealing charges on all trades of investment trusts, ETFs, UK and overseas shares, gilts and bonds made online or through the app.

Other costs, like FX charges and stamp duty, will apply. Terms apply.

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Written by
Joseph Hill
Joseph Hill
Senior Investment Analyst

Joseph is part of our Fund Research team. Having joined HL in 2017 initially on a graduate scheme, he's now integral to our analysts who select funds for our Wealth Shortlist. He also analyses the UK Growth, UK Equity Income and UK Smaller Companies fund sectors, providing expert insight for our clients.

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Article history
Published: 22nd May 2024