But 36 investment trusts valued at £28bn, one-third of the sector, were in business in 1952 and are still thriving, many of them dating back to Victorian Britain and a Scottish heritage.
Annabel Brodie-Smith, at the Association of Investment Companies, said: "The investment company sector has weathered two world wars, the Great Depression, and numerous other booms and busts along the way."
She added: "In light of the financial difficulties in the eurozone, it's fascinating looking at the history of the sector to see how history can repeat itself.
"Indeed, many of the earlier investment companies started life as bond funds."
The Scottish survivors include Scottish American and Dunedin Income and Growth (1873), run by Baillie Gifford and Aberdeen Asset Management respectively; Edinburgh Investment Trust (1889), now in the stable of Invesco Perpetual; British Assets, (1897), run by F & C; and the two big independent trusts which survive unchanged if not unscathed, Scottish Investment Trust (1887) and Alliance Trust (1888).
Among the constituents of the FT-30 in 1952 were Morris Motors, Bolsover Colliery, Harrods, Patons & Baldwins, and Woolworth.