UCITS (abbreviation for Undertakings for Collective Investments in Transferable Securities) is a term that applies to the majority of investment funds in Europe that are offered to private investors.
Investors in UCITS funds benefit from mandatory diversification of assets, as well as the assurance that the fund’s assets are held at an independent custodian bank.
Investing in an investment fund is a professional and cost-effective way of accessing the world’s stock and bond markets as well as other assets in a regulated and controlled environment.
Diversification is a key risk management tool, and investment funds themselves offer the easiest way to diversify investments because they involve a much higher volume of assets under management and a larger number of securities compared to a portfolio held by a private investor.
Investment approaches include investment objectives, capital preservation, capital growth and income.
Fund managers can choose between different styles of investing, for instance between shares defined as “growth” or “value”, or classified according to company size.
Fund investing strategies include actively managed funds and index funds.
One of the key advantages of investing via investment funds is that they provide access to the expertise of a skilled fund manager, which would be very hard (and expensive) for most investors to acquire for themselves.
An important advantage of UCITS funds is that it is easy to buy (subscribe) or sell (redeem) fund units, and the cost or proceeds correspond to the value of the investor’s share of the fund assets, subject to any fees and commission charges.
Decades ago, people who wanted to build an investment portfolio had to enlist the services of a broker or financial institution, who would buy the securities they selected, such as shares of an individual company or government or corporate bonds.