F & C Investments

Foreign & Colonial Investment Trust

  • Sitting at the heart of investors' portfolios

  • How to Invest

    Open an F&C Savings Plan

    Call: 0800 136 420

    Invest online now

    Or contact your usual investment broker

  • Our aims for your investment

    Foreign & Colonial Investment Trust aims to grow your capital and income over the mid to long term. To find the best opportunities for your money to grow, we invest globally:

    • In the shares, or equities, of well established companies listed on the world's major stock markets
    • In rising star companies in developing markets
    • In some long-term less liquid investments, such as private equity.

    Well-established and rising star companies

    We invest mostly in equities focusing on strong companies, including household names like Unilever and GlaxoSmithKline as well as powerful newcomers like Netflix and Tesla Motors. We also tap into exciting growth prospects of emerging markets, such as China and Latin America.

    Private Equity

    We don’t restrict our investors to publicly listed equities. Although riskier, well managed private equity investments can be more rewarding. But not everyone has early access to these long-term less liquid, and often innovative, investment opportunities. We add value for our shareholders by holding a diversified proportion through a range of funds. Our investments have included Facebook, Twitter, Lovefilm and many more.

    How we make the most of your investment

    Global outreach

    We have a global approach with no constraints to specific countries, continents, industries or sectors. Although we mainly invest in publicly listed equities, we still have the flexibility to invest in other types of securities or assets when the time is right.

    Adapting to change

    Foreign & Colonial, launched in 1868 as the world's first investment trust, flourished despite two world wars, the great depression, the financial crisis in 2008 and many other ups and downs in between. We've flourished by watching and learning from the markets, innovating and moving with the times and most importantly, never forgetting to take the long-term view.

    We spread the risk for smoother returns

    Instead of making large investments in a small number of companies, the Trust’s £2.9 billion of assets (as at 31 January 2016) are spread more widely over 500 companies. The reason is that if one of the investments doesn't perform well, then the wider portfolio doesn't take a big hit. By diversifying our investments, we smooth out the peaks and troughs for our investors.

    Income

    We recognised long ago the importance of growing dividends for our investors and building up substantial reserves. So, not only have we been prudent by putting money aside, we have increased the payment to investors every year for the past 44 years and it has outpaced inflation in all but one of the last 35 years.

    Rewards are not without risks

    Where there are opportunities so too are there risks. We pioneered the concept of spreading risk through a collective fund of investments as far back as 1868. But what risks should investors be aware of when investing in Foreign & Colonial?

    • One of the advantages of an investment trust is its ability to borrow money to invest in the markets and enhance returns. This is known as ‘gearing’. But, whether markets rise or fall, the fixed amount of the borrowing still has to be repaid and in a downturn this will exacerbate the fall in values. Our job is to get the timing right when gearing up, whether through short-term borrowings or putting in place long-term borrowings that should be of benefit over time.
    • Currencies in which the investments are denominated are moving in value all the time. A strong rise in the value of sterling can be a drag on returns, whereas a weakening of sterling will add value. Borrowing in the leading currencies of the investments helps offset the impact of currency movements.
    • Investing in emerging market equities and in smaller companies can be very rewarding but more volatile and less liquid. This makes them harder to buy and sell than those in developed markets or issued by larger companies. We hold only a small proportion of these investments.
    • Private equity funds of funds offer us earlier investment opportunities and potentially higher returns. However, due to the nature of these investments they can be more difficult to sell. The private equity portfolio is highly diversified.

    The Trust is an investment trust and therefore its shares are not subject to the Financial Conduct Authority's ("FCA") rules relating to the restrictions on the retail distribution of unregulated collective investment schemes and close substitutes which came into effect on 1 January 2014. The Trust conducts its affairs so that its shares can be recommended by IFAs to ordinary retail investors in accordance with the FCA's rules relating to non-mainstream investment products and intends to continue to do so.

    The value of shares and the income from them is not guaranteed and can fall as well as rise due to stock market movements. Past performance is not a guide to future performance. When you sell your shares, your might get back less than you originally invested.

  • Paul Niven

    Paul Niven

    Fund Manager

Past performance is not a guide to future results. The value of investments can go down as well as up.

The shares of the Company are listed on the London Stock Exchange. Information in this section of the website concerning the Company is directed solely at persons who are located in the UK. Nothing on this website is, or is intended to be, an offer, advice, or an invitation, to buy or sell any investments. Potential investors must read our full terms and conditions before proceeding further with any investment product referred to on this website. The information on this website may not be suitable for everyone, and retail investors unsure whether an investment product referenced on this website will meet their individual needs should seek advice before proceeding further with such product.

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