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Here's a statement of the obvious: The opinions expressed here are those of the participants, not those of the Mutual Fund Observer. We cannot vouch for the accuracy or appropriateness of any of it, though we do encourage civility and good humor.

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Would anyone care to make the case for or against having 50% US AND 50% International for the stock allocation of your portfolio?


  • Sure.

    Case for: (1) reduces home country bias and (2) forces you to rebalance periodically. Our tendency is to invest a lot in the US, especially with the seemingly unending rise of the market here while there have been entire decades when the US lagged. For those not good at tactical reallocation, having a strategic target such as 50/50 gives a visible target for acting.

    Case against: (1) the exact values are arbitrary - in simple market cap terms, the US is closer to 36% of the global equity market - and (2) they don't account for earnings exposure; some British firms derive almost all of their earnings from the US market, some American firms derive almost all of their earnings from the emerging markets. As a result, the location of the headquarters is less relevant than ever.

  • This anti case is dated but I believe the author still more or less advocates the stance:
  • MJG
    edited April 2018
    Hi Guys,

    Diversification is one solid foundation when making asset allocation decisions. Diversification is a winning strategy, but too much diversification can do harm. That harm is captured when diversification increases portfolio volatility as measured by an increase in return standard deviation.

    Here is a Link to an article that approximately defines net long term geometric return as average annual return minus standard deviation squared divided by two:

    I am not comfortable with an even split allocation because of that subtraction component of the equation. International returns seem to be highly volatile with both huge up years and down years.

    That's my primary reason why I limit my portfolio's international exposure to 20 to 30% of its total value. All this is approximate so I am typically not in a considerable rush to make adjustments.

    The costs of many adjustments usually operates to reduce long term performance. But that just might be lazy me. Everyone has their own plan and how to operate it that puts themselves in their comfort zone. That's what makes markets work.

    Best Regards to all

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