Open-ended investment company (OEIC)

An open-ended investment company, or OEIC (pronounced ‘oik’), is a modern and more flexible version of a unit trust. It uses the basic structure for collective investments commonly used in Europe and the US. As with unit trusts, the size of the fund is variable – more units or shares can be issued if there is demand for them – and the price of shares or units in the fund is fixed by the value of its underlying assets.

However, instead of having two prices for its shares (one for buying and one for selling), as a traditional unit trust does, an OEIC has one price for both; management fees and commissions are charged separately. This is designed to make it easier for you to see exactly what you are getting. OEICS can be operated as an ‘umbrella’ structure, which means that, within each, there can be various sub-divisions of funds, each with their own objectives and the ability to invest in different financial products.

This flexible structure makes it cheap and easy for OEICS to keep up with changing consumer demands.

• See Ed Bowsher’s video tutorial: Why we like investment trusts.

MoneyWeek magazine

Latest issue:

Magazine cover
Heading higher?

Or are house prices set to fall?

The UK's best-selling financial magazine. Take a FREE trial today.
Claim 4 FREE Issues

'Would you rather upset God, or have Him just ignore you?'

In the first of three interviews with Merryn Somerset Webb, Hugh Hendry, manager of the Eclectica Fund, talks about what it takes to be a good hedge fund manager – and how he learned to stop worrying and love central banks.


Which investment platform?

When it comes to buying shares and funds, there are several investment platforms and brokers to choose from. They all offer various fee structures to suit individual investing habits.
Find out which one is best for you.


21 November 1969: The first permanent Arpanet link

A milestone in the formation of the internet, the first permanent Arpanet link was established on this day in 1969 between researchers in the United States.