Assets in unit investment trusts reached $5.35 billion in the first quarter, up a whopping 72% from the same period of last year, according to the Investment Company Institute.

Most of the growth was fueled by investments in equity unit investments after strong performances in the stock market. Assets in stock unit investments jumped to $4.48 billion in the first quarter, up 185% from the first quarter of 1995, the trade group said.

The bullish stock market overshadowed unit trusts that invest in bonds. Assets in tax-free bond trusts plummeted 41.2%, to $673.3 billion.

Unit investment trusts are portfolios of securities that differ from mutual funds because they are not traded and have a specified maturity date.

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