Home > Analysis > What is the Scottish Mortgage Trust (SMT)?

Scottish Mortgage Trust is a century-old investment trust listed on the London Stock Exchange.  As of September 2023, the fund has assets of more than £13 billion, of which nearly £12 billion are shareholders funds (latest annual report here). Edinburgh-headquartered Baillie Gifford (www.bailliegifford.com) managed this flagship investment trust.

Scottish Mortgage Trust is famed for its early bets on promising companies that subsequently turned into giants. Under the stewardship of James Anderson, who retired in 2021 after spending twenty years as SMT’s manager, he parlayed small tech bets into multi-billion gains for SMT shareholders.

SMT famously invested in Tesla (US:TSLA) in 2013 when its share price was still in the single digit. By 2021, SMT’s investment gains in the EV carmaker soared to a staggering $29 billion. Other early investments in Alibaba (BABA) and Amazon (AMZN) also reaped massive profits for the fund. Unsurprisingly the covid-stock boom saw Scottish’s share price surged from £5 to nearly £16 – the final culmination of a long bull run (see below).

According to the Financial Times , during 2001-2021 when James Anderson was managing the SMT, the fund’s total returns reached a stunning 1,300 percent. Investors who sticked with the fund through the Global Financial Crisis and pandemic made a fortune. So big is the Trust now that it is a member of the blue-chip FTSE 100.

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