F&C Dumps Tradition

The Foreign & Colonial Investment Trust (FRCL) announced today that it will be changing its name to F&C Investment Trust in 3 days time. FRCL is one of the oldest investment trusts and celebrated 150 years since foundation in this year. It was also so far as I recall the first share I ever purchased (via their savings scheme) although I have not held it for some years.

FRCL is a global investment trust. How is it doing lately? Well after a rather dull patch it seems to have picked up in the past year, although it looks to have the usual big US cap stocks in its portfolio such as Amazon, Microsoft and Alphabet which are the top 3. It’s otherwise very diversified. The share price discount has also narrowed so it’s now on a very small premium. If they decided to change the name to make the trust more marketable a few months back, they perhaps need not have bothered.

FRCL has proved to be a good example over the years of the benefit of investment trusts for those who want boring and steady long-term returns from equity shares.

The company is also changing its TIDM from FRCL to FCIT which will annoy some.

Now one can argue that it was overdue for a “rebranding” to give it a more modern image but “Foreign & Colonial” was at least very memorable. The acronym “F&C” is not a good choice in my view. F&C is registered as a trade mark but it would not be my ideal choice of one – too many similarities to others. I prefer brands, and companies, to have strong, simple, memorable names that are clearly unique.

On that subject I received confirmation of the registration of the trade mark “Roliscon” from the Intellectual Property Office this morning, which is the name of the service company I own. I should have registered that years ago so I now have two registered trade marks to my name. It’s a very simple process.

Roger Lawson (Twitter: https://twitter.com/RogerWLawson )

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