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Financial organization that pools the funds of its shareholders and invests them in a diversified portfolio of securities. It differs from a mutual fund, which issues units representing diversified holdings rather than shares in the company itself. Investment trusts have a fixed number of shares for sale; their price depends on the market value of the underlying securities and on the demand for and supply of shares. The first modern investment trusts were formed in England and Scotland as early as 1860. Many early U.S. investment trusts failed with the collapse of the stock market in 1929, but others have since prospered under stricter federal regulation.
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