International Markets - 1st Quarter 2012


International allocations are increasing portions of investment portfolios.  This isn’t a fluke.  International companies represent an increasing market cap of the world’s stock relative to the states.  Over the last 10 years, international investments almost doubled the returns of US investments (33.4% for the S&P 500 vs. 64.8% for the MSCI EAFE per JP Morgan Asset Management).  Blame for foreign investment woes were most strongly linked to a European debt debacle, Japan’s earthquake natural disaster, and concerns of slowing growth in China.

The world’s challenges are hard to ignore, especially in Europe.  Austerity is a big hurdle for economies to overcome.  Companies have been beat up along with their governments and we believe that longer term there may be compelling opportunities around the world.  The role of international investments in a diversified portfolio remains relevant today in our mind in spite of disappointing recent returns.

Please note that international investing involves special risks, including currency fluctuations, differing financial accounting standards, and possible political and economic volatility. Diversification does not assure a profit or protect against loss. Past performance does not guarantee future results. The information contained in this report does not purport to be a complete description of the securities, markets, or developments referred to in this material. Any information is not a complete summary or statement of all available data necessary for making an investment decision and does not constitute a recommendation. Any opinions art hos of Center for Financial Planning, Inc. and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James. Expressions of opinion are as of this date and are subject to change without notice. Investments mentioned may not be suitable for all investors.