AXA fund offers access to US giants
Stephen Kelly’s AXA Framlington American Growth portfolio holds Apple, Google and Coca-Cola in its top-five and has been a top-quartile performer over one, three and five years.
Despite the continuing global economic uncertainty, in particular surrounding the eurozone, one region that is striving to break the shackles and help stimulate the global recovery is the US.
Over recent months, economic data and news filtering out of this region has generally been positive, with much of it surprising industry experts by exceeding expectations and predictions.
While the economic position is undoubtedly improving, with GDP expected to be in the region of 2 to 3 per cent, 2012 is a presidential year and this is often seen as having a positive impact on the overall health of the nation.
However, it should not be forgotten that in terms of debt, this is a nation that has significant issues to address and whichever party wins the race to the White House, co-operation and agreement within Congress to implement the necessary austerity measures have already shown to be near on impossible through discussions so far.
North America is also the largest economy on the planet today due to its ability to innovate, access investment and its strong distribution channels both internally and beyond its borders.
There are very few countries in the world that do not have US brand and product penetration and our everyday lives are affected by this nation in some form or other.
The AXA Framlington American Growth
fund is managed by Stephen Kelly
who has been at the helm since February 1997.
The underlying objective of the fund is to achieve capital growth through investment in North American stocks, which may include Canada and Mexico, but with a medium to large cap bias. For a company to be included within the portfolio it must clearly display above-average profitability, have quality management and good growth potential.
Individual holdings are normally limited to a maximum of around 2 per cent and the fund generally holds between 65 and 85 stocks. The fund currently has key holdings in companies such as Apple, Google and Coca-Cola.
For those investors looking for American medium to large caps, then this fund should fulfil that need.
In terms of performance, Kelly has clearly demonstrated over numerous time periods his ability to deliver. Over a five-year cumulative period, the fund is ranked second out of 66 with an impressive return of 36.03 per cent compared with the sector average of 11.78 per cent.
Performance of fund vs sector over 5-yrs
Source: FE Analytics
In respect of a three-year cumulative period, again it is ranked second out of 85 with a return of 62.32 per cent compared with the sector’s 41.99 per cent. The fund is also ranked top-quartile over one year and on a year-to-date basis is ranked fourth out of 99 with a return of 7.25 per cent compared with the sector’s 2.78 per cent.
The FE five-crown rated fund has £415.8m assets under management (AUM).
Andy Parsons is head of investment research at The Share Centre. The views expressed here are his own.