Unit investment trusts grew by $7.26 billion in the first nine months of 1994, slightly behind last year's pace, the Investment Company Institute reported.

In 1993, unit trusts had attracted $7.28 billion by the end of September.

Unit trusts, which have many of the same traits as mutual funds, purchase stocks and bonds. But unlike the securities in a mutual fund portfolio, which are frequently traded, unit trust portfolios are fixed. Also, mutual fund shares are redeemable at any time, whereas unit trusts are sold with a specific maturity.

Due to their steady coupon rate and fixed maturity date, unit trusts have continued to sell well this year, compared with mutual funds, which have suffered a sales slump,

In September 1994, deposits in unit trusts increased by $1.12 billion. Equity trusts were the biggest gainers for the month, attracting $717.6 million. Tax-free bond trusts grew $272 million during September, and deposits to taxable bond trusts totaled $126.6 million.

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