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By Emma Ann Hughes | Published Feb 22, 2012

Q: How can I research/invest in investment trusts?

In October 2011, the AIC launched a new section of its website dedicated to financial advisers.

This site contains up to date information and statistics on investment companies as well as news and views from the whole industry.

Perhaps the most useful resource for advisers is the free online training programme, which awards CPD points and is a recognised means of training up to level four, as required post-RDR.

For advisers signed up to the site, there will also be a monthly e-newsletter full of topical articles, manager interviews and advice from Jacqueline Lockie, the AIC’s resident training specialist and a former adviser.

Other useful sites include Morningstar’s Closed End Funds centre – www.morningstar.co.uk, which have recently launched a qualitative and quantitative ratings system for investment companies, and www.trustnet.com.

Investment companies and their managers have useful data and information on their sites and it is easy to link to these from the AIC website.

Investment companies and their managers have useful data and information on their sites and it is easy to link to these from the AIC website.

Investment companies are listed on a stock exchange.

Therefore, the buying and selling (trading) of investment company shares is done via a stock exchange. There are various ways to go about investing in an investment company.

* Platforms

Investment companies have so far not been available on the three largest platforms, however, with the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) acting as a catalyst this is all about to change, according to Annabel Brodie-Smith, communications director of the Association of Investment Companies.

Fidelity FundsNetwork has announced that investment companies will be made available on their platform in the first half of 2012.

Meanwhile, the Cofunds Stock Trading Service is currently trialling providing advisers with access to Barclays Stockbrokers via the Cofunds website and it looks likely advisers will have to access investment companies before the end of the year.

Skandia is expected to add investment companies in 2013.

Ms Brodie-Smith said the inclusion of investment trusts on major platforms would go a long way towards opening up access to investment companies for advisers.

But for those who want to invest in this now, Ms Brodie-Smith said investment companies can currently be purchased through a number of the wrap platforms, for example Transact and Nucleus.

* Savings schemes

Investment companies can also be purchased directly through manager sponsored savings schemes and Isas, or through the brokers such as Selftrade, Halifax, Alliance Trust Savings and Barclays Stockbrokers.

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