THE Investment Trust derives its income from at least five different sources, of which the first in the following list is by far the most important. These sources are (a) the return on its interest and dividend-bearing securities; (b) fees for trustee, secretarial and registration services; (c) underwriting fees; (d) premiums from the issue of share or debenture capital above par, and (e) profits from the sale of its holdings.
(a) The difference between the cost of its capital and the return on its loans has always been the chief source of an investment trust's net income. Its revenue account, therefore, is reasonably independent of the effect of capricious interest changes, or temporary industrial derangement--the former because most of its capital is obtained for several years at a fixed rate, and the latter because the majority of its holdings are in preferred stocks or bonds. There is of course no exact relation between the market value of a trust's investments and its own income from them. Foreign exchange is an important factor in interest and dividends as well as original investment. It may occur that larger dividends from common stock of foreign undertakings are partly cancelled by the weakening of exchange on the country concerned, which follows a period of price inflation, and vice versa.
(b) Investment trusts often act as trustees for debenture holders of other companies, and render miscellaneous services classed under trust company powers in America.