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Open-ended investment companies (OEICs)

OEIC stands for open-ended investment company. Essentially an OEIC is a pooled investment fund of variable size in corporate form. Each fund will have an Authorised Corporate Director to protect the interests of the shareholders, and an Investment Manager will be appointed to manage the investments within the fund. The fund owns investment assets, for example stocks and shares, gilts, bonds and certain other financial instruments.

The size of an OEIC varies reflecting the market value of its underlying investments. It will also fluctuate as investors buy and sell shares in the fund as the OEIC has more or less property to invest. It is in this sense that it is open-ended. The value of each share in the fund will, broadly, reflect the values of the underlying assets.

An OEIC's investors own shares in the company rather than units as in a unit trust. The shareholders have the right to sell their shares back to the OEIC on any dealing day when trading has not been suspended.

The value of investments and income from them can fluctuate (this may partially be the result of exchange rate fluctuations), and investors might not get back the full amount invested. Past performance is not a guide to future performance.

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