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5 ASX shares I would buy to set up a high growth portfolio

If I was tasked with setting up a small portfolio targeting a high growth strategy, here are 5 ASX listed shares that I would consider:

Afterpay Touch Group Ltd  (ASX: APT)

Afterpay Touch Group is a technology-driven payments company that offers a ‘buy now, receive now, pay later’ service that does not require end-customers to enter a traditional loan or pay any upfront fees or interest to Afterpay.

The Afterpay share price has started the year strongly, climbing 50% since the start of January after getting battered in late 2018.

Afterpay softened slightly after releasing half-yearly results, as the company tries to implement its US expansion strategy.  If it successfully penetrates this market, the current Afterpay share price is well below what it could eventually be.

Pro Medicus Limited (ASX: PME)

Pro-Medicus is a leading health imaging company that provides a full range of radiology IT software and services to hospitals, imaging centres and health care groups worldwide.

The Pro-Medicus share price is up 16% in 2019, partly due to its pleasing results announcement.

This little-known biotech company is slowly growing its Visage product range around the world and has landed some key contracts to help this expansion.  It is already turning profits and paying dividends.

The PME share price should continue to increase if its technology becomes widely accepted as the best product of its kind.

Nearmap Ltd (ASX: NEA)

Nearmap Limited is an ASX listed aerial imagery technology and location data company that provides frequently-updated, high-resolution aerial imagery of Australia, United States of America and New Zealand.

The Nearmap share price has started the year in phenomenal fashion, up 83% since the start of January 2019.

Similar to Afterpay Touch Group, Nearmap is embarking on a journey of US expansion and has excited investors by releasing impressive increases in its Annualised contract value measure in this region.  The US market represents a huge growth opportunity.

Nearmap is forecasted to start turning profits over the next few years, so it could be an excellent time to jump on board.

Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST)

Northern Star Resources is a global-scale Australian gold producer with Tier-1 world-class projects located in Australia and North America.

The Northern Star Resources share price has had a bumpy start to the year, falling early before rallying on results earlier this month.

Northern Star has a strong balance sheet which gives the ability to pick up acquisitions at the bottom of the pricing cycle.  This ability to expand allows the company to accelerate growth through smart purchases.

Whilst Mining companies are capital intensive, Northern Star has shown its pedigree over the past five years and could be a good bet for the future.

Xero Limited (ASX: XRO)

Xero is a New Zealand based software company that offers a cloud-based accounting software platform for small and medium-sized businesses.

The Xero share price has increased by 17% since the start of 2019 and continues to grow its subscription base. Whilst it is yet to turn a profit, the increasing popularity in its platform will allow it to grow margins in the future.

The accounting software company has a good brand reputation but may face competition down the track.

Foolish Takeaway

It is important to remember to balance out your portfolio depending on your needs and the stage of life you’re at.  While the names above represent companies with explosive growth potential, it is also important to remember that each has its own risks associated.

If you’re setting up a larger investment portfolio, I’d ensure I have a solid base of blue-chip shares before adding too many higher risk options.  This will help control risk, just in case something goes pear-shaped.

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Motley Fool contributor Michael Guinery owns shares of Pro Medicus Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. recommends Pro Medicus Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Nearmap Ltd. and Pro Medicus Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of AFTERPAY T FPO and Xero. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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