An alternative to Findlay Park American
The fund’s soft-closure means investors who want exposure to the US will have to look elsewhere – and they could do a lot worse than Baillie Gifford American.
The £7.1bn Findlay Park American fund has dominated the North American sector since its inception in 1998.
According to FE Analytics
, it has returned 221.49 per cent in those 14 years, compared with a loss of 2.35 per cent from the average fund in IMA North America.
Investors' attempts to benefit from Findlay Park American’s success were thwarted when the fund was soft-closed recently.
However, there are a number of decent alternatives, one of which is the FE four crown-rated Baillie Gifford American
The £223m fund has been headed up by highly experienced FE Alpha Manager Mick Brewis
since its launch in 1997.
Brewis has proven himself by outperforming his peer group composite in seven out of a possible 10 years.
Baillie Gifford American, which unlike Findlay Park American is domiciled in the UK, takes a bottom-up stock picking approach with the aim of outperforming over the long-term.
Performance of funds vs sector over 10-yrs
Source: FE Analytics
||1-yr returns (%)
||3-yr returns (%)
||5-yr returns (%)
||10-yr returns (%)
|Findlay Park - American
|Baillie Giff - American
|IMA North America
Although the Baillie Gifford fund's returns have been easily eclipsed by those of Findlay Park American over the last 10 years, there is a smaller margin between the two over three and five years, and Brewis has a better record over the last 12 months.
In terms of performance against the rest of its sector, Baillie Gifford American is in the top quartile over one, three, five and 10 years – a feat matched only by AXA Framlington American Growth – and is also one of the least volatile funds.
Performance of funds vs sector over 3-yrs
Source: FE Analytics
Baillie Gifford's biggest overweight compared with the IMA North America sector is in consumer products. According to FE data, Apple and Ebay are its two biggest holdings, making up 13.1 per cent of its AUM.
The fund has a minimum investment of £1,000 along with a standard initial charge of 5 per cent. Its total expense ratio (TER) of 1.57 per cent is competitively priced compared with its sector.
Tim Cockerill, head of collectives research at Rowan Dartington, believes the fund offers a healthy substitute for investors looking for long-term gains in North America following the soft-closure of Findlay Park American.
"On the whole they are a fairly conservative and traditional investment house," he said.
"They are clearly one of the better options for investors over a long-term period, especially as the American market is difficult to beat over the long-term."
"As an active play, one should definitely have a look into Baillie Gifford. I like the structure of the fund, due to the closeness of the management team, which has achieved stable performance over the years."