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Thoughts in Charts: Keeping a Global Perspective

As US investors, it’s important to pay attention to how the international market is behaving. The panel on the left shows that US returns were stronger from 2005 to 2019, followed by EM, Europe ex-UK and then Japan.

Now let’s look at what happened when the pandemic first hit. The middle panel highlights the role international exposure could have played in your portfolio during the initial sharp market declines in the first quarter. Japan lost significantly less than the US. Emerging Markets, even with the purple drag of having to convert their returns to US dollars, lost about the same as the United States.

As the world emerged from the deep crisis, on the right-side panel, the United States is not the only place seeing the stock market recover significantly. International markets have enjoyed a significant tailwind from a weakening US dollar. Additionally, the earnings decline on the emerging market column is actually less than the United States. There are some very interesting things happening abroad that support staying globally diversified.

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