Anyone tilting heavy to international based on current forecasts?

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Skierajs
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Anyone tilting heavy to international based on current forecasts?

Post by Skierajs »

In an environment where 10-year US stock market returns are forecasted by Vanguard and others to be lower than international stock market returns, I'm curious whether anyone is substantially tilting their equities allocation to international? Just as most investors historically have tilted their portfolios heavily to US equities, could the current environment be a turning point where it might make sense to tilt the other way? I.e. 70/30 International / US?

For someone early in their career with a 30 year horizon, the difference between getting 4-6% vs 6-8% annualized over the first 10 years could make a substantial difference in success rate. Any believers out there that this will be international's time to shine and putting real money on this?
thx1138
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Re: Anyone tilting heavy to international based on current forecasts?

Post by thx1138 »

Have similar forecasts in the past regarding the difference between US and International returns been correct better than a coin toss? I’m pretty sure they haven’t been. Is there some reason to expect them to suddenly be accurate this time? Probably not...

The forecasters at this very moment are caught flat footed by an unexpectedly strong dollar that wasn’t suppose to happen according to them just a short while ago...

My US vs. International allocation will remain the same despite the usual noisy prognostications one direction or the other.
asif408
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Re: Anyone tilting heavy to international based on current forecasts?

Post by asif408 »

Yes, I've been 90 Int'l/10 US since late 2016. There will always be short term underperformance like the current underperformance of Int'l relative to US, even during longer periods of Int'l outperformance, so if the last few months underperformance scares you I suggest not tilting heavily. You have to be able to endure months or even a couple of years of this over longer horizons.
jminv
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Re: Anyone tilting heavy to international based on current forecasts?

Post by jminv »

I wouldn’t give anyone’s ten year forecast particular meaning and wouldn’t change my asset allocation either. Hard to believe someone’s ten year forecast will be proven correct except in the broad market for forecasts when one of many is likely to be right just by chance.
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rob
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Re: Anyone tilting heavy to international based on current forecasts?

Post by rob »

I plan to aggressively make zero changes to my existing domestic/foreign tilt :D I have been 50/50 forever and it's been both a majority and minority position over the years, even on this forum. I subscribe to the stopped clock position - if I moved then I would guess wrong every time, so by been static I will be right - and wrong - at some point.
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lack_ey
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Re: Anyone tilting heavy to international based on current forecasts?

Post by lack_ey »

Under the understanding of most models, the point estimates for international equity returns are usually higher, but the distributions are hugely overlapping, and the models are likely not particularly correct anyway.

If you were to market time generally, this is not a particularly strong signal so the change should probably be relatively limited and with the understanding of a significant probability of failure (doing worse than no change).

I don't think this matters much to early-career investing as mentioned in the first post, unless starting off with a relatively large amount. Under most investing and career trajectories without a significant inheritance, most contributions are closer to the end, and investment performance near the beginning doesn't make a huge difference, especially if forward returns are relatively lower so there's less compounding of real value.
Random Walker
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Re: Anyone tilting heavy to international based on current forecasts?

Post by Random Walker »

I have taken advantage of the difference in the valuations to increase my international allocation to its global market weight of about 50%. Not really trying to time the market. I wanted to increase my international allocation, and valuations were just another extra catalyst to make the move.

Dave
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Re: Anyone tilting heavy to international based on current forecasts?

Post by Random Walker »

thx1138 wrote: Wed Jul 04, 2018 8:39 pm Have similar forecasts in the past regarding the difference between US and International returns been correct better than a coin toss? I’m pretty sure they haven’t been. Is there some reason to expect them to suddenly be accurate this time? Probably not...

The forecasters at this very moment are caught flat footed by an unexpectedly strong dollar that wasn’t suppose to happen according to them just a short while ago...

My US vs. International allocation will remain the same despite the usual noisy prognostications one direction or the other.
But these are prognostications by the market. The market prices risk. Risk perceived by the market lowers prices, decreases P/E’s, and thus results in higher expected returns.

Dave
Tamalak
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Re: Anyone tilting heavy to international based on current forecasts?

Post by Tamalak »

Nope. World cap and staying that way.

I see the movement of stocks as a random walk. Valuations are high for the USA because optimism is high for future returns. Who am I to say that the optimism is wrong?
TM90
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Re: Anyone tilting heavy to international based on current forecasts?

Post by TM90 »

Global market cap, anything else is active management, and by the way, global market cap is more then 50 percent US.
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vineviz
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Re: Anyone tilting heavy to international based on current forecasts?

Post by vineviz »

Skierajs wrote: Wed Jul 04, 2018 8:09 pmFor someone early in their career with a 30 year horizon, the difference between getting 4-6% vs 6-8% annualized over the first 10 years could make a substantial difference in success rate. Any believers out there that this will be international's time to shine and putting real money on this?
The best use you could make of current forecasts (IMHO) is to bolster your confidence that something close to market weight for non-US equities is the best long-run allocation. Chasing returns is a fool's errand, but using the best available evidence to construct your long-term asset allocation is always smart.

For me, that means keeping between 30% and 60% of equities in non-U.S. funds (including emerging markets) and doing so because it provides good diversification by smoothing returns over time.
"Far more money has been lost by investors preparing for corrections than has been lost in corrections themselves." ~~ Peter Lynch
thx1138
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Re: Anyone tilting heavy to international based on current forecasts?

Post by thx1138 »

Random Walker wrote: Thu Jul 05, 2018 9:05 am But these are prognostications by the market. The market prices risk. Risk perceived by the market lowers prices, decreases P/E’s, and thus results in higher expected returns.
Sure, but CAPE and other valuation metrics have failed to have market timing value within the US. Is there some evidence that they have timing value between international and US markets? I've never seen evidence of this but I certainly could have missed it. Is there a reference that shows any evidence of it? Is there any reason to suspect that suddenly valuations will have predictive market timing value now if they haven't in the past?
Random Walker
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Re: Anyone tilting heavy to international based on current forecasts?

Post by Random Walker »

thx1138 wrote: Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:08 am
Random Walker wrote: Thu Jul 05, 2018 9:05 am But these are prognostications by the market. The market prices risk. Risk perceived by the market lowers prices, decreases P/E’s, and thus results in higher expected returns.
Sure, but CAPE and other valuation metrics have failed to have market timing value within the US. Is there some evidence that they have timing value between international and US markets? I've never seen evidence of this but I certainly could have missed it. Is there a reference that shows any evidence of it? Is there any reason to suspect that suddenly valuations will have predictive market timing value now if they haven't in the past?
I don’t know data, but I’m not proposing market timing. The expected returns based on P/E and CAPE are unconditional, meaning there is no associated time frame. It’s just a long run forward looking estimate. It is widely accepted that higher CAPE starting points are associated with lower forward looking returns. Don’t see any reason for international and US markets to be different in that regard.

Dave
thx1138
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Re: Anyone tilting heavy to international based on current forecasts?

Post by thx1138 »

Random Walker wrote: Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:44 am
thx1138 wrote: Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:08 am
Random Walker wrote: Thu Jul 05, 2018 9:05 am But these are prognostications by the market. The market prices risk. Risk perceived by the market lowers prices, decreases P/E’s, and thus results in higher expected returns.
Sure, but CAPE and other valuation metrics have failed to have market timing value within the US. Is there some evidence that they have timing value between international and US markets? I've never seen evidence of this but I certainly could have missed it. Is there a reference that shows any evidence of it? Is there any reason to suspect that suddenly valuations will have predictive market timing value now if they haven't in the past?
I don’t know data, but I’m not proposing market timing. The expected returns based on P/E and CAPE are unconditional, meaning there is no associated time frame. It’s just a long run forward looking estimate. It is widely accepted that higher CAPE starting points are associated with lower forward looking returns. Don’t see any reason for international and US markets to be different in that regard.

Dave
But changing ones AA between international and US based on their relative valuation (the proposal of the OP) would be market timing. And to date that hasn’t worked, nor any reason to expect it will work now. Hence, as I originally stated ignore the prognosticators (even if their prognostications have a narrative based on market valuations) and keep a steady AA.
GAAP
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Re: Anyone tilting heavy to international based on current forecasts?

Post by GAAP »

TM90 wrote: Thu Jul 05, 2018 9:07 am Global market cap, anything else is active management, and by the way, global market cap is more then 50 percent US.
Ditto -- let the markets sort themselves out, you don't have to try to do it. One ETF (VT) meets my needs for that. The money will flow between economies and the portfolio automatically adjusts. I like having the diversity of economies in my portfolio -- without needing any active management.

Incidentally, for a large number of participants in this forum, "substantial international investment" means "international investment >0". Their reasons are frequently the mirror-image of yours.
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stemikger
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Re: Anyone tilting heavy to international based on current forecasts?

Post by stemikger »

No! I'm sticking to my plan. Long term investing will go through many different and difficult times. Many Presidents, many great moments and many tragic moments. Nothing should change for the long term investor if you thought things through and are comfortable with the level of risk you are taking. Changing things up according to what the Soothsayers predict is a sure fire way to lead a very hectic and hard investing life.

Good Luck!
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Random Walker
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Re: Anyone tilting heavy to international based on current forecasts?

Post by Random Walker »

Thx1138,
We agree. I was just stating that most US investors could probably rationally increase international exposure closer to or all the way to world market cap weighting, and that given current valuations, perhaps an opportunistic time to make that move. It would be a permanent allocation change. I wouldn’t propose in and out market timing moves.

Dave
thx1138
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Re: Anyone tilting heavy to international based on current forecasts?

Post by thx1138 »

Random Walker wrote: Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:28 am Thx1138,
We agree. I was just stating that most US investors could probably rationally increase international exposure closer to or all the way to world market cap weighting, and that given current valuations, perhaps an opportunistic time to make that move. It would be a permanent allocation change. I wouldn’t propose in and out market timing moves.
Yep. And as illustrated over many, many discussions on the board as well as past back testing goes the effect of a fairly wide range of international allocations doesn’t make a particularly huge impact on long term portfolio performance. Certainly wouldn’t be anything wrong with valuations nudging someone to increase their international AA more towards global market cap. Not really anything wrong with doing nothing either!
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whodidntante
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Re: Anyone tilting heavy to international based on current forecasts?

Post by whodidntante »

I'm another poster with a market weight holding of international stocks. I have no desire to overweight international at present. Valuations do matter, but they can also make you look stupid by persisting.
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William4u
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Re: Anyone tilting heavy to international based on current forecasts?

Post by William4u »

I'm 50/50 domestic international, which is pretty close to market weight (VT is currently 51.7% domestic US stock, so I have a slight tilt to international).

Of domestic stock, I'm 50% VTI, 50% VBR (small value tilt).
Of international stock, I'm 50% VXUS, 25% VSS, 25% VWO (small and emerging tilt).

We will see if those tilts pay off over time. I'll stick with my IPS unless I get some new, solid information that what I am doing is irrational according to the best available empirical data.
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steve roy
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Re: Anyone tilting heavy to international based on current forecasts?

Post by steve roy »

I look at valuations of various index funds around the globe, and decide where to put our funds based on which ones look more reasonable.

Lately, foreign equities have had better P/E ratios than domestic. So that’s where my stock allocation money was going. (The foreign allocation is low anyway. Now it’s about where I want it to be.)
Last edited by steve roy on Thu Jul 05, 2018 2:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Anyone tilting heavy to international based on current forecasts?

Post by oldcomputerguy »

Skierajs wrote: Wed Jul 04, 2018 8:09 pm In an environment where 10-year US stock market returns are forecasted by Vanguard and others to be lower than international stock market returns, I'm curious whether anyone is substantially tilting their equities allocation to international?
No, I'm not. This is what "stay the course" means, not making changes to your desired AA in response to short-term market conditions.
Mardoc01
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Re: Anyone tilting heavy to international based on current forecasts?

Post by Mardoc01 »

William4u wrote: Thu Jul 05, 2018 1:06 pm I'm 50/50 domestic international, which is pretty close to market weight (VT is currently 51.7% domestic US stock, so I have a slight tilt to international).

Of domestic stock, I'm 50% VTI, 50% VBR (small value tilt).
Of international stock, I'm 50% VXUS, 25% VSS, 25% VWO (small and emerging tilt).

We will see if those tilts pay off over time. I'll stick with my IPS unless I get some new, solid information that what I am doing is irrational according to the best available empirical data.
No bonds. How old are u?
heyyou
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Re: Anyone tilting heavy to international based on current forecasts?

Post by heyyou »

Who knows? Who cares?
At 50/50 foreign and domestic, my returns will be good enough. I know better than for me to seek what looks like a more optimal allocation for the future.

For higher returns, try saving more.
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Re: Anyone tilting heavy to international based on current forecasts?

Post by Engineer250 »

Another 50/50 for market weight reasons. I recognize true market weight isn't that precise, but 50/50 are round numbers easy to maintain in my attempt at a 3 Fund Portfolio.
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Re: Anyone tilting heavy to international based on current forecasts?

Post by MJW »

Ex-US still has to deliver. Even if the forecasts for US equities turn out to be correct, I'm not overly confident that International will outperform to the extent that I will be happy to have taken the risk. There's a suspension of disbelief attached to every dollar I throw into Ex-US equities.
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Re: Anyone tilting heavy to international based on current forecasts?

Post by fortyofforty »

I'm currently underweight international, in terms of market neutral measures. However, I'm not convinced I need or should increase my international allocation. Intellectually, I know this is probably the time to buy, as ex-U.S. has underperformed of late.
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Re: Anyone tilting heavy to international based on current forecasts?

Post by 3funder »

I've gone from 40% international to approximately 50% international. I don't think I'd tilt heavily toward anything besides stocks as an asset class, as I am 30-35 years away from retirement.
Global stocks, US bonds, and time.
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Re: Anyone tilting heavy to international based on current forecasts?

Post by Northern Flicker »

Between the risks of Brexit, a possible credit crunch in China, potential trade wars, with the US involved in all of them, it is hard to know where the highest return or least risk will be. And a strong or weak dollar could turn any estimate of global equity returns on its head when you measure return in USD terms. If you have a sound, risk-based determination of the best mix of US and non-US equities for your situation, then it is best to trust the risk premia being discounted into various equity classes by the market and stick to your allocation.
Risk is not a guarantor of return.
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Skierajs
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Re: Anyone tilting heavy to international based on current forecasts?

Post by Skierajs »

Thanks for all the great responses. I’m 50/50 at the moment as well but with current valuations it is tempting to put more new money towards international.

To the folks who cry “market timing” at the thought of overweighting international - I assume you’d also say that anyone who has previously been overweighting US equities but is now moving their portfolio towards market weight is also market timing, right? Otherwise, why not have done that 5 or 10 years ago?

The big firms (including Vanguard I think) that are now moving closer to market weight in their target date funds that used to overweight US are also market timing based on P/Es then?
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Re: Anyone tilting heavy to international based on current forecasts?

Post by Northern Flicker »

Are you sure you aren’t trying to rationalize taking a position you are predicting will win?
Risk is not a guarantor of return.
aaaaarrrgghhh
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Re: Anyone tilting heavy to international based on current forecasts?

Post by aaaaarrrgghhh »

As someone outside the US - and just invested lumpsum for the long term- I stayed away from US and Japan due to CAPE valuation. Europe/Apac and Emerging were relatively more attractive in that horizon.It wasn't a 'tilt' in that sense - just choice based on my target return.
There were quite a few responses on market weighting - do the followers rebalance based on stocks versus bonds' respective market sizes?
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Re: Anyone tilting heavy to international based on current forecasts?

Post by pokebowl »

aaaaarrrgghhh wrote: Fri Jul 06, 2018 8:49 am There were quite a few responses on market weighting - do the followers rebalance based on stocks versus bonds' respective market sizes?
I can't speak for everyone, however I keep my portfolio at global equity market weight, via ensuring I check either MSCI or FTSE (whichever is updated first when I add new contributions once a month). I usually just round up or down to the nearest whole percentage point US versus World and move on with my day. Takes me 2 minutes total from eyeballing the index report to placing an order.
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Re: Anyone tilting heavy to international based on current forecasts?

Post by lukestuckenhymer »

jalbert wrote: Fri Jul 06, 2018 12:18 am Are you sure you aren’t trying to rationalize taking a position you are predicting will win?
Well, doesn't that drive 95% of the traffic to this board or any financial news site? :P
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Re: Anyone tilting heavy to international based on current forecasts?

Post by afan »

I have an international allocation, but I don't adjust it based on market forecasts. To do so would require me to have a lot of confidence in those forecasts. Among the reasons I don't have such confidence is that I have never seen one of the forecasters present data on the accuracy of their previous forecasts. That would be the single most useful piece of information they could provide.
Of course, it would also be nice if they could summarize the accuracy of forecasts done using their methods, but that might be asking too much.

I am aware of some data that suggests long term prediction of stock returns in the US can produce R2 values as high as 0.6. That sounds nice, but there are also studies saying that using such predictions for dynamic asset allocation does not increase risk adjusted returns. For that reason, although I would be curious to see someone report the accuracy of their prior predictions, I would not change my allocation anyway. So I don't much care what they say.
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Re: Anyone tilting heavy to international based on current forecasts?

Post by Sandtrap »

stemikger wrote: Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:04 am No! I'm sticking to my plan. Long term investing will go through many different and difficult times. Many Presidents, many great moments and many tragic moments. Nothing should change for the long term investor if you thought things through and are comfortable with the level of risk you are taking. Changing things up according to what the Soothsayers predict is a sure fire way to lead a very hectic and hard investing life.

Good Luck!
+1
I've recently completed a comprehensive "simplification" of my portfolio with substantial new funds, irrespective of "current forecasts" or any forecasts. New cash went to muni bonds, CD ladder, and existing funds toward rebalancing.
Allocation remains at 45/45/10.
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Re: Anyone tilting heavy to international based on current forecasts?

Post by lostdog »

Market cap using VTWSX(Vanguard Total World Index). Staying the course forever on this fund. I don't see international as a separate asset class.
Brokerage: VTI+VXUS || Retirement: VTWAX || Short-Term: Cash+BSV || 33x Expenses
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ram
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Re: Anyone tilting heavy to international based on current forecasts?

Post by ram »

Yes. I am market timing.
I used to be 70:30. Now I am 60:40.
However I must clarify.
I increased my bond proportion (preplanned). I did it by selling domestic equities. Another reason for changing the ratio of domestic: Intt stocks was taxes. I wanted to sell stocks and domestic stocks were in 401K whereas intt were in taxable account with significant gains. (Yes. The tax tail wagged the dog.)
Ram
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Re: Anyone tilting heavy to international based on current forecasts?

Post by Makaveli »

New taxable contributions (new money & dividend reinvestments) are headed towards international. 401k still headed to US but at a slower clip. 70:30 US to international split with 5% bands. Moreso towards the 65:35 with this recent international focus.
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