How investors can diversify their US equity exposure

This article is part of
Guide to US Equities

As such, funds with exposure to classic value sectors such as financials and industrials might be worth considering.

As of 18 December, the best performer from the Investment Association’s North America sector over one year was Janus Henderson Opportunistic Alpha, a name with around 45 per cent of assets in financials, industrials and materials at the end of September.

That said, there are other considerations to bear in mind.

“Disruption is increasingly a harsh reality for many once‑dominant companies.

“But these days, some of these legacy companies have recognised how this is playing out and are fighting back aggressively.

“They are moving from the wrong side back to the right side of change,” says Taymour Tamaddon, portfolio manager, large cap growth equity strategy at T. Rowe Price US

Value investing

Value has also had several false dawns in a decade that has seen it severely underperform growth.

“Reversals of style regimes can be unpredictable but typically happen abruptly and can be sustained for a long time.

“We question how well positioned many investors are for such a change,” says Heather McPherson, portfolio manager of the T. Rowe Price US large cap value equity strategy.  

Value stocks famously surged in 2016, only for this rally to peter out the following year.

Many of the factors that have aided growth investors, from tech disruption to loose monetary policy, look difficult to shift.

As such, instead of looking for a dedicated value fund it may simply be worth looking for products with some exposure to those sectors, as well as assessing the positioning of funds you already hold.

Many funds with an agnostic approach or even a growth bias have tilted into value in the last year.

Small and mid-cap stocks remain a good source of returns: the Russell 3000, which contains some smaller names, has outperformed the S&P 500 over one, three, five and 10 years in sterling terms, as of 18 December.

And given that these companies tend to do well or badly depending on the state of the US economy, they could prosper if trade tensions continue to recede.

As such it is worth perusing either US smaller companies funds or even generalist funds that delve into areas like these.

When it comes to specialist US smaller companies funds, JPM US Small Cap Growth is one fund that has fared well in the short and long term.

In the generalist space, the Brown Advisory US Equity Growth fund, which is among the best performers of the last year, does hold large names such as Amazon, Visa and Microsoft but can also invest in medium-sized companies.

Other themes are equally important.

FAANG stocks