So far this month familiar investments trusts are proving popular with retail investors. The top three buys are Scottish Investment Trust (SCIN), Scottish Mortgage (SMT) and City of London (CTY), according to data provided by AJ Bell’s YouInvest platform.

Others in the top 10 include Edinburgh Investment (EDIN), Witan Investment Trust (WTAN) and Fidelity China Special Situations (FCSS).

A full list of the top ten buys are below:

table

INFLATION-BEATING DIVIDENDS

Investments trusts are can be an efficient way for investors to diversify exposure to a range of companies and assets. Many of them also pay reliable dividends, so work well for income seeking investors.

For example, Edinburgh Investment invests mainly in UK stocks to the aim of growing annual dividends by more than 3% over and above UK inflation.

Beating the FTSE All Share with its own net asset value (NAV) performance is another objective.

Investors will be familiar with some of the investment trust’s top holdings, which includes cigarette conglomerate British American Tobacco (BATS), oil major BP (BP.) and drugs giant AstraZeneca (AZN).

Over the last five years, Edinburgh Investment has delivered an annualised 9.3% total return.

LONG TERM INCOME GROWTH

Witan Investment Trust follows a similar long-term growth in both income and capital, although it does this by investing in markets across the globe.

Top holdings include high street bank Lloyds (LLOY), Google-owner Alphabet and FTSE 250 investment trust Syncona (SYNC), which focuses on life sciences. That latter stake seems like a sensible way to access biotech exposure when it may not have inhouse expertise at hand.

Witan is not put off by the global market correction in February, flagging a positive global growth outlook in 2018 with earnings and cash flow fundamentals for many firms moving in the right direction.

It achieved an annualised 12.4% total return over the last five years.

BENEFICIARIES OF CHINESE GROWTH

Fidelity China Special Situations is the UK’s largest China investment trust, which seeks to benefit from China’s growth and changing economy.

The investment trust says China is being recognised as a ‘major driver of growth and investment performance.’

Among the top holdings is social media and internet commerce giant Tencent, online marketplace Alibaba, as well as biopharmaceutical company Hutchison China MediTech (HCM:AIM).

The trust's annualised total return over five years stands at an impressive 24%.

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Issue Date: 09 Mar 2018