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3 top ASX shares to buy for international exposure

Whilst we Aussie investors love our own ASX share market and the iconic companies that inhabit it, there’s no denying that Australia makes up a very small proportion of the global share market. In fact, the ASX represents roughly just 2% of all the companies you can invest in around the world.

That, in turn, means if you just stick to ASX shares in your investment portfolio, you’re missing out on 98% of the possibilities out there.

Whilst you can go ahead and buy your own shares in companies like Apple, Tesla, Nike and Nestle yourself, it’s a lot easier (and often cheaper) to obtain global exposure through ASX-listed vehicles.

So, here are my top three ASX investments that Aussies can buy for those who want to venture beyond our shores.

Magellan High Conviction Trust (ASX: MHH)

This is a relatively new Listed Investment Trust (LIT) that seeks to (quite simply) invest in 8-12 of the best companies on the planet. One share of the trust represents a share of this 8-12 company investment basket, which on the most recent data includes names like Alibaba, Alphabet, Facebook, LVMH, Microsoft and Visa.

All of the stock picking for this trust is done by the team at Magellan Financial Group (ASX: MFG) – so you can sit back and relax while your investments are taken care of.

Of course, this doesn’t come free – the trust charges a management fee of 1.5% p.a. for the privilege, as well as an additional fee for outperformance. But given the success of Magellan’s funds over the years, it’s worth it in my view.

BetaShares NASDAQ 100 ETF (ASX: NDQ)

NDQ is an ETF (exchange traded fund) that tracks the top 100 companies on the US Nasdaq exchange – home to most of the big tech stocks in the US. This is a passive fund that blindly follows these 100 companies (no active stock picking), which translates into a lower management fee (0.48%).

Some of NDQ’s current top holdings include Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Intel. If you want some broad-based exposure to American ‘big tech’, this could be a great place to start!

Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets Shares ETF (ASX: VGE)

Another ETF, this offering from Vanguard instead follows a broad basket of shares that are listed in ‘emerging markets’. These include China (naturally), as well as Taiwan, India, Brazil, South Africa and Russia.

These countries have different growth dynamics to advanced economies like Europe, the US and Australia. This can be a good thing, with more growth potential and less correlation to the economies that we usually pay most attention to.

Some of the top stocks in this ETF include Alibaba, Tencent, Naspers and Petroleo Brasiliero (along with 5,079 others). The VGE ETF charges a 0.48% fee and I think could play an important role in diversifying a typical ASX portfolio.

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Teresa Kersten, an employee of LinkedIn, a Microsoft subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Sebastian Bowen owns shares of Magellan High Conviction Trust. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of and recommends Microsoft and recommends the following options: long January 2021 $85 calls on Microsoft and short January 2021 $115 calls on Microsoft. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended BETANASDAQ ETF UNITS. 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.