You could, of course, pick individual shares yourself. However, this requires a lot of research, and being remote from the companies and the markets in which they operate could mean missing out on snippets of useful information. So most investors would probably prefer to get exposure to American shares via pooled funds such as unit or investment trusts.
The big decision is whether you are happy to back the market as a whole, in which case a cheap tracker fund will suffice, or want to aim for better returns, which means choosing an actively managed fund.
Nowhere is the job of an active manager harder than in the US. Historically, they have struggled to produce consistent outperformance of the wider market – a fact attributed to the strict rules that require companies to disclose all relevant information to the market.
“The US is something of a graveyard for active fund managers and we prefer to recommend a passive index-tracking fund for our clients,” said Mr Pemberton.
Whatever fund you buy, don’t forget that fluctuations in the dollar could affect your returns as much as movements in the share prices. The exchange rate could work in your favour, of course. “We expect the dollar to appreciate strongly against the euro, perhaps to parity, because we think some kind of break-up of the euro is coming,” said Mr Dales. “This would probably also mean some strengthening of the dollar against sterling.”
However, if you prefer not to be exposed to this additional factor, hedged tracker funds, such as iShares S&P 500 Monthly GBP Hedged, with total annual charges of 0.45pc, are available.