FYI: Should U.S. investors even try to diversify their stock portfolio internationally? Many are wondering, and it’s easy to see why: international stocks, with few exceptions, have underperformed U.S. equities for quite a few years now — and not by just a little. Over the past 10 years, for example, international equities have lagged U.S. stocks by eight percentage points annualized.
A glimmer of excitement and hope among those championing international diversification happened briefly in 2017. That’s when, for the first time in five years, international stocks beat U.S. stocks — by six percentage points, no less. But that hope was soon dashed, as U.S. stocks finished far ahead in 2018. The same is true so far in 2019.