What's your U.S. : International ratio?

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What's your U.S. : International ratio?

100:0
27
4%
80:20
101
16%
70:30
143
23%
60:40
109
17%
60:40
109
17%
50:50
112
18%
40:60
10
2%
30:70
10
2%
20:80
12
2%
 
Total votes: 633

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kpanghmc
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What's your U.S. : International ratio?

Post by kpanghmc » Fri Mar 09, 2007 1:50 pm

[restarted thread. Check posting dates before replying - admin alex]

Just curious how other Bogleheads have their U.S.:International ratio set up. I'm currently at 2:1 but I'm tempted to cap weight and go 1:1. After all, if I believe in cap weighting my U.S. equities, why not cap weight my global equities as well?
Kevin

BrianTH
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Post by BrianTH » Fri Mar 09, 2007 1:58 pm

I'm 60:40. Within a pretty broad range, I don't think there is any way of telling in advance which allocation is best (e.g., I doubt one can know in advance whether 40%, 50%, or 60% international is a better idea). In my case, the international funds available to me are both more expensive and less flexible than the U.S. funds available to me. So, it makes sense to me to stay on the low end of my acceptable range. In other words, I think within limits it makes sense to "underweight" international if your options for international investing are not as good.

d
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Post by d » Fri Mar 09, 2007 2:20 pm

food for thought!?

"The S&P 500 has so much total international-sales exposure, your stock portfolio might not even need a separate international component for diversification. ... About 45% of the revenue of S&P 500 companies comes from outside of the U.S., and that figure could hit 50% by the end of the year, according to Silverblatt, the S&P analyst."

from Jonathan Burton, MarketWatch
Mar 7, 2007

BrianTH
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Post by BrianTH » Fri Mar 09, 2007 2:35 pm

d,

Well, that assumes "sales exposure" to an international market is the same thing as owning equities in that international market. That doesn't strike me as a plausible assumption.

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CyberBob
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Post by CyberBob » Fri Mar 09, 2007 2:56 pm

BrianTH wrote:Well, that assumes "sales exposure" to an international market is the same thing as owning equities in that international market.
Well that makes me wonder how international exposure is really defined.
An example might be Tupperware. It's a U.S. company, but nearly 90% of its profit comes from outside North America.

Since the profit isn't from the U.S., is their much relevance that the company stock trades on the NYSE rather than a European exchange or Tokyo?

Bob

P.S. I'm 2:1 as you can see from my avatar :wink:
Last edited by CyberBob on Fri Mar 09, 2007 3:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

BrianTH
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Post by BrianTH » Fri Mar 09, 2007 3:28 pm

Bob,

I'm not sure the exchange matters per se. But my point was that a lot more goes into a company's earnings and stock price than where its sales end up being. For example, one would also want to know where a company's assets were, where its salaries were paid, where it was taxed, and so on.

So, while there is no doubt that the globalization of supply chains makes the distinction between many large companies in different countries weaker, I'd suggest it still matters where the company in question carries out the value-added part of its role in the supply chain.

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chuck-b
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Post by chuck-b » Fri Mar 09, 2007 3:46 pm

I'm about 3:1 which is 75:25, so I picked 70:30. This seems to be about the middle of the curve (so far).

Chuck

MattBrennan
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Post by MattBrennan » Fri Mar 09, 2007 4:06 pm

My split is currently 62/38 with 25% of my total portfolio in Foreign Equities.

Matt

yobria
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Post by yobria » Fri Mar 09, 2007 4:15 pm

I'm 50/50. If I go 10% in either direction I don't sleep as well. You can make good arguments for anything from 20/80 (foreign/US) to about 75/25 though.

Nick

d
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Post by d » Fri Mar 09, 2007 4:16 pm

BrianTH wrote:d,
Well, that assumes "sales exposure" to an international market is the same thing as owning equities in that international market. That doesn't strike me as a plausible assumption.
Brian: i'm not making that assumption ... nor do i think that assumption is implied in the original statement. i'm just passing on the observation, you can make of it as you wish.

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Index Fan
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Post by Index Fan » Fri Mar 09, 2007 5:19 pm

60-40 currently, 50-50 is my future target.
"Optimum est pati quod emendare non possis." | -Seneca

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ddb
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Post by ddb » Fri Mar 09, 2007 5:54 pm

40:60 here. I started off with cap-weighting (approx. 50:50), then decided to tilt towards international. My livelihood is affected by the performance of the US economy to a certain degree, so I decided to hedge by overexposing my portfolio to international stocks.

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AshKK
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Post by AshKK » Fri Mar 09, 2007 5:57 pm

60:40 right now.

Some thoughts behind this ratio:

1. US seems to be about 40% of world GDP, so this was the starting point.
2. We live, will retire, and spend our money in the US, so a higher allocation to US from 40% looked reasonable.
3. We didn't want to take too much country risk of the US, so we didn't want US to be too much higher than 40%.
4. The higher expenses of investing in international stocks vs that of the US stocks led us to overweighting the US a bit more. (i.e. If all else were equal I would expect US large caps and European large caps to return the same. Because Europe is more expensive to invest in, I would expect slightly lower returns from there.)
5. We trust the regulations in the US more than those of International firms, so we thought overweighting US was better.
6. Because of lack of cheap access to Small/Value classes of International stocks, and because our risk profile does not allow us to retire with the balance that we want simply by investing in Large Caps, we overweight US a bit more, but take the risk in US LV, SC, and SV.
7. Because EM stocks are expected to have a higher return, we overweight International a bit more.

Starting with point 1, and balancing roughtly points 2 through 7, we arrived at a 60:40 ratio of US:International. This isn't rigorous or scientific, but we are happy at where we arrived. This is also not cast in stone - if VINEX (International Explorer) opens to new investors for instance, we will definitely reconsider the ratio.

But we won't do it for performance chasing reasons.

[Edit]I incorrectly used the ticker VTRIX when I meant VINEX.
Last edited by AshKK on Fri Mar 09, 2007 9:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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norm
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Post by norm » Fri Mar 09, 2007 7:13 pm

60/40. 20% of my portfolio is foreign.

LiveSoftMike
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Post by LiveSoftMike » Fri Mar 09, 2007 7:25 pm

If all markets were the same as US then I would agree cap weighting makes perfect sense. Although the stat I have seen is now US is below 50% of world market cap---but not sure how markets like China are reflected in that since the govt still controls most of the business capital there....so do you include the stock "owned" by the govt or not? Didn't Vanguard just change the index for emerging markets to include more of China now that govt has released more stocks to the market?

So somehow you have to reflect the foreign market risks in portfolio balancing. One thing I have done is actually use ishares country ETFs to invest in the foreign markets I trust more as well as "value" countries. It costs a little more than an EFA/EEM approach but I sure "feel" better about investing in UK, Belgium, Netherlands, Brazil, S Korea, Austrailia, Canada then Germany, France, Italy, China, Russia, India!

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CyberBob
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China

Post by CyberBob » Fri Mar 09, 2007 7:41 pm

LiveSoftMike wrote:...so do you include the stock "owned" by the govt or not?
Indexes such as the MSCI Global Capital Markets Index are free-float adjusted, and so wouldn't count stock that isn't actually available.
LiveSoftMike wrote:...not sure how markets like China are reflected...
In a market-cap weighted index, China isn't nearly as big as everyone seems to think. Emerging Markets equity is about 4.1% of total world market cap (equity and fixed income). Chinese equity is about 10% of that, or 0.41% of total world market cap (0.71% of equity).

Bob

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Dino
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Post by Dino » Fri Mar 09, 2007 8:43 pm

Ash, I thought that was an interesting and insightful post. I wouldn't have thought of all those reasons, but I also have approx 60:40 ratio.

BTW, I think VTRIX is still open, but the explorer fund is closed among the internationals.

Dino

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Post by ditsteve » Fri Mar 09, 2007 8:53 pm

I'm 75:25 (US:Inter). This will probably shift towards 60:40 over my time horizon.
"Stay on target."

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AshKK
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Post by AshKK » Fri Mar 09, 2007 9:05 pm

Dino,

Thanks for the kind words. I meant VINEX (International Explorer), not VTRIX (International Value). You are right that VTRIX is open.
Ash | | The 82nd Boglehead.

grok87
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Post by grok87 » Fri Mar 09, 2007 11:03 pm

My ratio is 2:1 US:Intl

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Zander
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Post by Zander » Sat Mar 10, 2007 12:46 am

65% US 35% INT'L

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4th&Goal
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Post by 4th&Goal » Sat Mar 10, 2007 1:05 am

Also 65% US - 35% International

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Post by indexfundfan » Sat Mar 10, 2007 1:10 am

50:50 for me.
My signature has been deleted.

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dimbulb
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Post by dimbulb » Sat Mar 10, 2007 1:21 am

Currently moving towards 60/40 from a 70/30 position, and considering increasing it even more.

I'm not a US citizen, and am not sure where I will even be in 10 years time, so it doesn't really make sense for me to overweight the US relative to the rest of the world....

Having more international equities also hedges against the possibility of the US dollar declining (and me retiring outside of the US).

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Post by bpp » Sat Mar 10, 2007 8:33 am

US citizen living in Japan.

Japan:US:Elsewhere = 50:25:25, so I marked "30:70" in the poll.

Is this a smart plan? I don't know, ask me in 50 years...

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TnGuy
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Post by TnGuy » Sat Mar 10, 2007 8:54 am

100% equity port divided 50/50.


David

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Post by George Gates » Sat Mar 10, 2007 10:00 am

International is 30% of equities for me. Seems like the trend here is for a higher allocation.
George

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CyberBob
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New-Home Bias

Post by CyberBob » Sat Mar 10, 2007 10:00 am

bpp wrote:US citizen living in Japan.
Japan:US:Elsewhere = 50:25:25...
Is this a smart plan?
To me, it looks like a bit of "new-home" bias.
Any particular reason you are overweighting Japan so much?

Bob

larmewar
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Int'l AA

Post by larmewar » Sat Mar 10, 2007 10:17 am

My target is 2 to 1 in equities. I've slipped a bit below the target, as I've been emphasizing US large cap for new money.

Lar

Kevinm1986
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Post by Kevinm1986 » Sat Mar 10, 2007 10:48 am

I have to say, I'm a little surprised at the allocations, given that Bogle dislikes international and Vanguard recommends a 20% max. Obviously, there's plenty of logic in a cap-weighted portfolio, and plenty of reasons to adjust one's international allocation up or down, but I expected more people to have 20% or so, and I'm surprised that virtually no one has basically ignored international.

I'm at about 80 U.S./20 Int'l. Anything within the 10-25% range for international stocks is fine with me, although I wonder if I shouldn't raise the upper boundary of that given what other Diehards appear to be doing.

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20 Percent

Post by cfs » Sat Mar 10, 2007 10:59 am

International equals 20 percent of my equities [approx 11 percent of the whole portfolio]

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AshKK
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Post by AshKK » Sat Mar 10, 2007 12:16 pm

Kevinm1986 wrote:I have to say, I'm a little surprised at the allocations, given that Bogle dislikes international and Vanguard recommends a 20% max. ...

I'm at about 80 U.S./20 Int'l. Anything within the 10-25% range for international stocks is fine with me, although I wonder if I shouldn't raise the upper boundary of that given what other Diehards appear to be doing.
Kevin,

I am someone who has an international allocation equal to 40% of our stock portfolio. We went this high because of the reasons I listed above. But we spent a lot of time thinking about. Bogle is a very smart guy, so we thought extra hard about the additional allocation.

So if you want a higher allocation go for it. But give it due thought.
Ash | | The 82nd Boglehead.

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rob
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Post by rob » Sat Mar 10, 2007 2:17 pm

CyberBob wrote:Well that makes me wonder how international exposure is really defined.
An example might be Tupperware. It's a U.S. company, but nearly 90% of its profit comes from outside North America.

Since the profit isn't from the U.S., is their much relevance that the company stock trades on the NYSE rather than a European exchange or Tokyo?
The common guess seems to be market cap, although personally I see some point to GDP ratios. Lets flip the other way, How much of Toyota's, Sony's, e.t.c. profits are from outside their home country? I don't know but suspect it's not insignificant :). I had one stock I own moved where it was listed to the US and seems to behave differently due to that (it's revenue was mostly US anyway) - obviously not meaningful with a single stock but interesting I thought.
| Rob | Its a dangerous business going out your front door. - J.R.R.Tolkien

Trev H
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Me...

Post by Trev H » Sat Mar 10, 2007 4:04 pm

I am somewhere around:
63% US
37% International

I would go 50/50 in a heartbeat if I could get International Small Value at Vanguard or in my Company Plan.

If you consider Emerging Markets exposure at around 15% of your International Equity 1972-2006.... 50/50 has been about the right mix for maxing out the benefits of low correlation and rebalancing bonus.

I think it is also somewhat ideal from a diversification point of view.

The reason I am not there yet... can't get IS or ISV... Not how I want to get them anyway (low cost indexed or managed fund at Vanguard).

Trev H

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Re: New-Home Bias

Post by bpp » Sat Mar 10, 2007 6:41 pm

CyberBob wrote:
bpp wrote:US citizen living in Japan.
Japan:US:Elsewhere = 50:25:25...
Is this a smart plan?
To me, it looks like a bit of "new-home" bias.
Any particular reason you are overweighting Japan so much?
It is actually a lower allocation than is generally recommended to investors in Japan. But I would not feel comfortable with more than 50% in any one country.

Pure market weight would put Japan at 10%, but I think that feels way too low for someone living in (and having no particular plans to leave) Japan. Bogle himself recommends that Canadian investors hold a 50% weighting in Canada, and Canada has a smaller market cap and GDP than Japan.

Japanese stocks also tend to move in opposition to the yen (due to export domination), so if the yen collapsed then Japanese stocks would probably rise, offsetting the higher cost of imported goods and inflation in general.

But I'm open to a reasonable argument for a different number. Any suggestions?

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CyberBob
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Re: New-Home Bias

Post by CyberBob » Sat Mar 10, 2007 7:48 pm

bpp wrote:But I'm open to a reasonable argument for a different number. Any suggestions?
The weighting of the country where you live is an interesting question.
As you mention, Japan is about 10% of world market-cap. But, if you live there and spend money in Yen, is that a reason to overweight it?

Or for me, since I live in the U.S. and spend dollars, is that a reason to overweight the U.S.? Or underweight it?

Bob

bpp
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Re: New-Home Bias

Post by bpp » Sun Mar 11, 2007 8:17 am

CyberBob wrote: Or for me, since I live in the U.S. and spend dollars, is that a reason to overweight the U.S.? Or underweight it?
My assumption has been that, on the whole, it is a reason to overweight. Norbert Schlenker has made this argument pretty forcefully in the context of Canadian investors, and also directly to me for investors living in Japan (if I recall correctly), and I think it makes sense in the general case.

Of course this argument falls apart somewhat for countries which have no or tiny stock markets, so it is not iron-clad. (Or maybe you just have to focus on other asset classes in that case?) But ask yourself, if and when the US market cap falls to be in line with world GDP share (~27% last I recall) or lower, would you really feel comfortable lowering your US allocation that far to match? Some would, I am sure. I doubt most would, however, and I'm not sure most should.

But again, I'm open to reasonable arguments.

yobria
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Re: New-Home Bias

Post by yobria » Sun Mar 11, 2007 1:21 pm

Or for me, since I live in the U.S. and spend dollars, is that a reason to overweight the U.S.? Or underweight it?
Bob- unfortunately the answer to this is unknowable in advance. If the US enters a Japan-style recession, you'll wish you'd invested more abroad. If the dollar strenghtens against the pound and yen, you'll wish you'd invested more here (all else equal).

My advice: Base this one on emotions: do what allows you to sleep at night.

Nick

gkaplan
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Ratio

Post by gkaplan » Sun Mar 11, 2007 1:40 pm

Assuming you're referring just to equities, my ratio is 50:50.
Gordon

TimDex
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Long, slow cap gains slog

Post by TimDex » Sun Mar 11, 2007 2:16 pm

For me, investing in international has meant freeing up money from stocks I've held for a very long time with sizeable cap gains. Some of them are particularly tax inefficient (i.e. utilities). To the extent I can, I've been cutting down my income any way possible in order to take capital gains at the lowest possible tax rate.

My international now is just 5% of my entire portfolio. At 50-50, it amounts to 10% of my equities. My long term goal is to get to 10% International, 10% Tips, as part of a 50-50 portfolio.

I started out using Tax Managed International, but just switched to investing lump sums when I have them in the new FTSE World Fund ETF (veu is the ticker).

Tim

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Re: What's your U.S. : International ratio?

Post by BirdZep » Sat Jan 20, 2018 4:58 am

Nearly 11 years later, have people changed their minds? 11 years, a lot has happened. Did the crash affect your line of thinking?

Going Bogle's way of 80/20 equity? Or going with the 2017 market weight 50/50 equity?

bg5
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Re: What's your U.S. : International ratio?

Post by bg5 » Sat Jan 20, 2018 7:11 am

Currently 100% equity with 80% US and 20% international. The 2 funds I use for my retirement are As follows:

80% VTSMX (vanguard total stock market)

20% VGTSX (vanguard total international)

I have thought about going 70-30 or 75-25 but my core holding in VTSMX has plenty of foreign influence.

Let's face it. The US economy will out perform international in the long run. If not.... we are all in trouble

VAslim16
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Re:

Post by VAslim16 » Sat Jan 20, 2018 7:54 am

indexfundfan wrote:
Sat Mar 10, 2007 1:10 am
50:50 for me.
+1

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stemikger
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Re: What's your U.S. : International ratio?

Post by stemikger » Sat Jan 20, 2018 7:57 am

100-0

All U.S. Portfolio! I followed Jack's advice and get my international through the S&P or Total Market Index. The accidental tourist if you will.
Choose Simplicity ~ Stay the Course!! ~ Press on Regardless!!!

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simplesimon
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Re: What's your U.S. : International ratio?

Post by simplesimon » Sat Jan 20, 2018 8:00 am

bg5 wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 7:11 am
Let's face it. The US economy will out perform international in the long run. If not.... we are all in trouble
I disagree with the latter half of this statement and its reflected in my US/Intl allocation, which is weighted like the Total World stock index...about 53/47 at the moment.

I've always held world weightings since I started investing about 10 years ago.

Global100
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Re: What's your U.S. : International ratio?

Post by Global100 » Sat Jan 20, 2018 8:09 am

100% US : 0% INTL
Last edited by Global100 on Wed Jan 24, 2018 5:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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BuyAndHoldOn
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Re: What's your U.S. : International ratio?

Post by BuyAndHoldOn » Sat Jan 20, 2018 8:17 am

70/30, moving towards 50/50 longer term. My contributions have been 50/50 or even greater for International vs. US over the last 12-18 months.

What keeps me around 70% US is that the US keeps performing well (!) and I bought some individual US stocks....

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jhfenton
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Re: What's your U.S. : International ratio?

Post by jhfenton » Sat Jan 20, 2018 8:30 am

We're 50/50 U.S./ex-US with a heavy small-cap tilt on both sides and an extra tilt toward emerging markets.

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Index Fan
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Re: What's your U.S. : International ratio?

Post by Index Fan » Sat Jan 20, 2018 8:48 am

2/3 TSM 1/3 TISM

Been that way for years.
"Optimum est pati quod emendare non possis." | -Seneca

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Re: What's your U.S. : International ratio?

Post by Peculiar_Investor » Sat Jan 20, 2018 8:59 am

We are 50:50 based on the specific question asked, but I must add a disclaimer because I'm a Canadian investor.

My disclaimer or explanation. Our asset allocation specifies Canada 50%, US 25% and International 25%. I am well aware of our Home country bias and the fact that Canada only makes up about 4% of the global equity market cap. However, for taxation and future spending/expense reasons it is more appropriate for us to overweight Canadian equities. A couple of research papers that I found very useful in understanding this issue are Vanguard's I have cited both these papers numerous times in discussions about International asset allocation as I feel they provide a well reasoned methodology on how an investor should approach this issue.

From my reading of the various 'how much international' discussions that come up regularly on the BH forum, I find US investors don't fully understand their own home country bias.
Normal people… believe that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Engineers believe that if it ain’t broke, it doesn’t have enough features yet. – Scott Adams

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