My wife and I are homeless.
For the past 18 months we’ve wandered from Singapore to Mexico, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Bali, back to Singapore. We’ll likely leave for Costa Rica in a couple of months. In late spring, we’ll pack our tandem onto an airplane and ride our bike around Europe.
My wife is American. But she hasn’t lived in the United States for more than 25 years. I left Canada (where I grew up) in 2003. Sometimes, our friends ask where we plan to retire. We don’t know. And for that reason, our investment portfolios don’t reflect a home country bias. We’re global, so our money is global too. It’s divided based on global capitalization. The U.S. represents about 48 percent of the world’s stock market value, so roughly half of our equity exposure is in a U.S. stock ETF. The remaining stock component is with international index funds.
Researchers Kalok Chan, Vicentiu Covrig and Lillian Ng say most investors–no matter where they’re from– usually tilt their portfolios towards home country stocks. They published their findings in the Journal of Finance. That makes sense. After all, U.S. retirees won’t get phone bills in Euros or Yen. But if you don’t own an international stock market index, it’s best to add one now.