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Why it makes sense to invest in ASX shares

seedling plants growing out of rolls of money representing growth shares
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I think it makes a lot of sense to invest in ASX shares right now and for the long-term.

It gives us the opportunity to buy plenty of quality Australia and New Zealand businesses. There are also numerous businesses that are headquartered overseas, but we can buy their shares on the ASX.

Here are some great reasons why it makes sense to invest in ASX shares right now:

Long-term benefits

The ASX share market has been one of the best performers over the past century, largely thanks to the strength of the Australian economy and the underlying businesses.

Australian shares have returned an average of around 10% per annum over the long-term. That’s a solid number and compounds wealth at a very nice pace when you re-invest the dividends.

ASX shares that are part of the Australian taxation system and pay dividends also offer the potential benefit of franking credits, which is a refundable tax credit to ensure that taxpayers don’t pay tax twice (once at the company level and again in the hands of individuals).

So, Australian shares have offered good returns in the past and continue to offer tax-advantaged income.  

I don’t see the benefit of investing in bonds at the moment when asset prices are so high and interest rates are so low.

Strong COVID-19 and economic position

Australia is in a good position, both with COVID-19 and economically with a pretty robust GDP compared to other countries.

Economies don’t exactly match the performance of business profits or share prices, but a good economy is undoubtedly a good thing for the ASX share market. A good COVID-19 position will also allow most businesses to be open and operate normally, and consumers will feel more comfortable too.

Many ASX retail-related shares have seen strong performance over the past six months such as JB Hi-Fi Limited (ASX: JBH), Eagers Automotive Ltd (ASX: APE), Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES), Adairs Ltd (ASX: ADH) and Harvey Norman Holdings Limited (ASX: HVN).

Overseas investors may also see ASX shares as a safe haven compared to what’s happening in Europe and the US. Particularly if the US election stirs things up.

Great investment options

I think there are a number of great ways to invest in ASX shares.

Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) aren’t a bad option. There are ETFs you can buy for ASX share exposure like Vanguard Australian Shares Index ETF (ASX: VAS).

But there is too much focus on big ASX banks and resource businesses with ASX index ETFs in my opinion. Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA), Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC), National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB) and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ASX: ANZ), BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP), Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (ASX: FMG) and Rio Tinto Ltd (ASX: RIO) make up around half of the index. That’s not great diversification in my opinion.

There are better ways to invest in ASX shares in my opinion. For starters, there are quality managers who invest in ASX shares which can provide exposure such as WAM Microcap Limited (ASX: WMI), Future Generation Investment Company Ltd (ASX: FGX) and Ophir High Conviction Fund (ASX: OPH).

I also think there are a number of individual ASX shares that can deliver attractive long-term returns like Pushpay Holdings Ltd (ASX: PPH), Brickworks Limited (ASX: BKW), Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Co. Ltd (ASX: SOL), A2 Milk Company Ltd (ASX: A2M), Bubs Australia Ltd (ASX: BUB), Temple & Webster Group Ltd (ASX: TPW) and Redbubble Ltd (ASX: RBL).

Where to invest $1,000 right now

When investing expert Scott Phillips has a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the flagship Motley Fool Share Advisor newsletter he has run for more than eight years has provided thousands of paying members with stock picks that have doubled, tripled or even more.*

Scott just revealed what he believes are the five best ASX stocks for investors to buy right now. These stocks are trading at dirt-cheap prices and Scott thinks they are great buys right now.

*Returns as of February 15th 2021

Tristan Harrison owns shares of FUTURE GEN FPO, WAM MICRO FPO, and Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Company Limited. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of PUSHPAY FPO NZX and Temple & Webster Group Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended A2 Milk, Brickworks, BUBS AUST FPO, and Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Company Limited. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Wesfarmers Limited. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended ADAIRS FPO, PUSHPAY FPO NZX, and Temple & Webster Group Ltd. 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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