What is a unit investment trust?

Personal Finance February 24, 2013 Print Friendly and PDF

A unit investment trust (UIT) is somewhat similar to a mutual fund in that it contains a portfolio of diversified securities, generally bonds. The difference between a mutual fund and a UIT is that the securities in a UIT are fixed at the beginning of the investment and don't change much, if at all. Most mutual funds, on the other hand, frequently change the securities held in their portfolio over time.

UITs are often purchased through stockbrokers, and there is generally an up-front sales charge. They have declined in popularity in recent years as other types of investments, such as exchange-traded funds, have increasingly gained market share.

We would like your feedback on this Personal Finance Frequently Asked Question.