International Diversification | Summary and Q&A

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March 15, 2023
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Ben Felix
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International Diversification

TL;DR

International diversification is crucial for a sensible portfolio construction, as it allows investors to increase expected returns without increasing risk.

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Key Insights

  • đŸĨļ Diversification across imperfectly correlated assets is the only free lunch in investing, according to Harry Markowitz's portfolio selection theory.
  • 🌍 The Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) suggests that excluding international stocks from a portfolio is sub-optimal in an efficient market.
  • 🍉 Short-term correlations among stock markets may increase, but the benefits of global equity diversification have not declined for long-term investors.
  • 🛩ī¸ Large growth stocks are more correlated across countries than small value stocks, making international value and small cap value stocks potential sources of portfolio improvement.
  • 🙃 Investing in multinational firms does not provide the same level of diversification as owning international equities directly.
  • 🍝 Past success of a single market is reflected in current prices, making it less likely that future returns will reflect the past.

Transcript

International stocks have trailed U.S stocks for more than 100 years performance aside the U.S market is well Diversified across Industries makes it more than 50 percent of the global stock market and lots of U.S companies have International Revenue exposure additionally International diversification has gotten less effective over time as correlati... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: Why is international diversification important for portfolio construction?

International diversification allows investors to increase their expected returns without increasing their risk, as it helps to reduce the correlation of assets in a portfolio.

Q: Can past performance be used to predict future performance of stock markets?

No, historical data cannot accurately predict which markets will be the best performers in the future. Attempting to chase past performance often leads to poor investment decisions.

Q: Have U.S. stocks consistently outperformed international stocks?

While U.S. stocks have outperformed international stocks on average over the past 100 years, there have been periods where international stocks have performed better, highlighting the importance of diversification.

Q: Can international diversification be achieved by investing in domestic stocks with international revenue exposure?

While it may seem plausible, investing in domestic stocks with international revenue exposure does not provide the same level of diversification as investing directly in international stocks.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • International diversification is the process of investing in stocks outside of the U.S. and is critical for portfolio construction.

  • Diversification across imperfectly correlated assets increases expected returns without increasing risk.

  • Historical data shows that U.S. stocks have outperformed international stocks, but this does not guarantee future success.

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