Can global investing help improve my portfolio's performance?

Diversifying assets across multiple countries can help decrease volatility and increase the chances of investing in securities of companies within a top-performing country in any given year.


Top 10 Performing Global Markets

You might be surprised to learn that the U.S. has rarely been a top-performing global market. Investing globally can provide exposure to other, potentially higher performing countries and may benefit your portfolio.

The chart below ranks the top 10 performing global markets by year for the 10-year period from 2004-2013.

Front of Chart

Increasing global exposure may increase return while reducing risk

As the chart shows:

The U.S. was one of the top 10 markets only once.

Returns of the U.S. stock market are shown at the bottom so you can compare them to global market returns for all 10 years.

Countries do not often have repeating years of top performance, so investing in a particular country may not be the best route. Instead, you should look to diversify your investments across multiple countries, which can increase your chances of investing within a top-performing market in any given year.


Currency Diversification

When you invest outside the U.S., you often have the opportunity to benefit from changes in currency exchange rates.

The chart below ranks the top 10 performing currencies versus the U.S. dollar over the 10-year period from 2004-2013.

Back of Chart

Investing globally provides currency exposure

As the chart shows:

When other currencies outperform the U.S. dollar — as in 2013, for example — your portfolio could benefit from significant currency gains in addition to your market returns.

Investing involves risk, including possible loss of principal.

International investing involves risks, including risks related to foreign currency, limited liquidity, less government regulation and the possibility of substantial volatility due to adverse political, economic or other developments. These risks often are heightened for investments in emerging/ developing markets, in concentrations of single countries or smaller capital markets. Frontier markets involve heightened risks related to the same factors and may be subject to a greater risk of loss than investments in more developed and emerging markets.

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