The five Olympic rings, designed in 1912 by Frenchman Pierre de Frédy, Baron de Coubertin, who was responsible for bringing the Olympic Games back into the modern consciousness, each represent a continent.
In keeping with this representative theme, the ring colours, plus the white background, make up the six colours that were present in all competing countries’ national flags at that time. It’s arguably the most international symbol the human race has come up with and quite timeless.
With Great Britain doing so well it easy to forgive people for getting into the Olympic spirit - and that’s just what Sheridan Admans, investment research manager at The Share Centre has done. In his excitement he has come up with a fund for each Olympic ring, which we will share with you, as well as offering our own recommendations from our ‘First 50 funds’ article.
Africa - The Share Centre recommends the Fidelity Emerging Europe, Middle East and Africa fund, saying that, “With 59.3% of its portfolio weighted towards Sub-Saharan Africa, the Fidelity Emerging Europe, Middle East and Africa fund might be an option for investors who believe the investment potential for the region is just getting warmed up.”
Africa is a bit risky for beginner investors so we’d get exposure via an emerging markets fund. Fidelity Index Emerging Markets has 7% exposure to South Africa.
America - The Share Centre is enthusiastic about the JP Morgan US Equity Income fund, saying that, “manager Clare Hart’s approach to stock selection is based on fundamentals rather than prevailing economic conditions, and she aims to choose companies capable of seeing off the competition to deliver impressive returns… She and her team look for companies which they believe are under-valued, have strong and durable franchises and a consistent pattern to their earnings and cash flow.”
It’s hard to argue with that, so we won’t, and instead add that we also like the Legal & General US Index I, which goes for large and mid-cap sized US companies.
Asia – There are some impressive numbers being thrown around regarding the Schroder Asian Income fund - “[it] has a truly impressive track record, delivering cumulative total returns, over one, three and five years, of 25.97%, 34.59% and 83.15% respectively (net of the fund fees)… provided investors are comfortable taking the risk associated with emerging markets, then investment in Asia can deliver excellent income returns.”
At Moneywise we like Man GLG Japan CoreAlpha Professional. Japan is an out-of-favour investment location, which can only help with this fund, which aims to find similarly out-of-favour companies to deliver maximum value to its clientele through value investing.
Europe – The region has been having some tough times recently, which is acknowledged by The Share Centre when they recommend the Henderson European Focus fund, saying that, “[it] seeks to overcome the hurdles of the Eurozone’s slowing economy by investing in attractively valued companies that can drive long term capital appreciation.”
We would also plump for Jupiter European Opportunities trust, headed by Alexander Darwall, who is ‘an exceptional stock-picker.’
Oceania – The inevitable medal reference is present in this sector, with The Share Centre saying that: “investors interested in going for gold should consider the Investec Global Gold fund, which has 20% of its portfolio weighted towards Australia.”
If we were asked to put our money where our mouths are, we’d go for Stewart Investors Asia Pacific Leaders B, an actively managed fund which also takes in Asia (excluding Japan), allowing it to take advantage of intra-Asian trade.