Funds & ETFs 

US for less, select exposure stateside, capturing strong growth and saving for grandchildren

US equity markets are at record highs but avoid them at your peril, says deputy personal finance editor Kate Beioley who explains why having no exposure to this region means you could miss out. She also sets out a selection of US equity funds which avoid the most expensive shares, beat the index or have a relatively more defensive positioning - a particularly useful attribute if US markets tumble from their highs.

OTHER STORIES IN THIS ISSUE

Passive funds tracking major US equity indices have delivered strong returns in recent years but when US markets eventually tumble from their highs these funds will feel the full force. So, as Kate Beioley explains, you might be better off in an active fund or exchange traded fund (ETF) which tracks an alternative index. She explains how these indices work and highlights some ETFs which track them.

The newly launched investment trusts which have experienced the strongest asset growth over the last five years have largely been high yielders focused on alternative assets. Personal finance writer Emma Agyemang reports which these trusts are and what they invest in, as well as explaining the reasons for their growth. She also highlights some things you need to monitor with rapidly growing trusts and risks that high yielders face.

This week's tip profiles a fund focused on an area where the economic fundamentals are improving and companies seem to be in rude health. The fund, which is run by an experienced manager, has also proven its ability to deliver strong long-term returns regardless of economic conditions, so looks like a good way to capture strong growth.

In our latest podcast James Baxter, managing partner at Tideway Investments, joins the team to explain some problems relating to pensions freedoms that the financial regulator is looking into. They also consider whether you should invest in UK equity funds as Brexit approaches and highlight some major changes Barclays is making to its investment platform.

Our podcast is now available across five different distribution channels to allow you to access it in the most convenient way. Find us on Soundcloud, Acast, AudioboomStitcher and iTunes.

This week's Portfolio Clinic features two readers who want to build a solid financial base to help their grandchildren meet future expenses such as a deposit for a home and life at university. Our experts tell them why it might be a good idea to include assets other than equities in the portfolio.

Do you have a personal finance problem? Or want to know more about something in this week's personal finance pages? If so let us know by getting in touch with leonora.walters@ft.com, kate.beioley@ft.com or emma.agyemang@ft.com.

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