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Finance Dictionary and Glossary of Investment Terms
Unit Investment Trust. An SEC-registered investment company which purchases a fixed, unmanaged portfolio of income-producing securities and then sells shares in the trust to investors. The major difference between a Unit investment Trust and a mutual fund is that a mutual fund is actively managed, while a unit investment trust is not managed at all. Capital gains, interest and dividend payments from the trust are passed on to shareholders at regular periods. If the trust is one that invests only in tax-free securities, then the income from the trust is also tax-free. A unit investment trust is generally considered a low-risk, low-return investment. Some investors prefer UITs to mutual funds because UITs typically incur lower annual operating expenses (since they are not buying and selling shares); however, UITs often have sales charges and entrance/exit fees. also called fixed investment trust or participating trust or unit trust.