The past few years have shown us just how important it is to have a robust investment strategy in place to tackle the unpredictable nature of investment markets.
Investing wisely is a key component of building long-term wealth and achieving financial goals. However, many investors tend to focus solely on their domestic market, overlooking the potential benefits of diversification. In this blog, we will explore the advantages of diversifying your investment portfolio across different countries and asset classes and highlight the importance of maintaining a long-term perspective despite short-term market volatility.
Understanding geographical diversification
Geographical diversification involves spreading your investments across various regions and countries. By doing so, you reduce the risk associated with investing in a single market. Each country’s economy can be influenced by different factors such as political stability, currency fluctuations, interest rates, and industry performance. Adopting geographical diversification within a portfolio allows you to harness the potential for growth in different regions while mitigating the impact of negative events that might impact a single market.
The main advantage of geographical diversification is risk reduction. Different markets can experience varying degrees of economic growth, political stability, and market performance at any given time. By expanding your investment horizons, you can benefit from the growth potential of various regions and sectors, even when your domestic market might be experiencing a slowdown. For instance, if you invest solely in the FTSE All Share and the UK market experiences a decline, you might miss out on potential gains in other markets such as the booming technology sector in the US or the expanding consumer markets in Asia, for example.
Let’s take a closer look at the UK as an example. While the UK stock market, represented by the FTSE All Share, is undoubtedly important, it represents only a fraction of the total world stock market. As of today, the UK stock market accounts for approximately 6%* of the global stock market by market capitalization. Therefore, limiting your investments solely to the UK or adopting a significant home bias may result in missing opportunities in other regions worldwide. At Francis Clark Financial Planning, we do not adopt a home bias in our investment strategies, but rather aim to use a more globally focused view on the regional allocation.
*Source: MSCI World
Maintaining a long-term view
While short-term market volatility can be unsettling, it’s important to retain a long-term perspective when it comes to your investment strategy. Here are a few reasons why:
Time in the market
Trying to time the market and make short-term predictions is extremely challenging and often counterproductive. By remaining invested in the market over the long run, you benefit from the power of compounding and the potential for higher returns. History has shown that, over extended periods, the stock market tends to deliver positive returns despite short-term fluctuations. We explored this in more detail in a previous blog: Investment strategy in a downturn.
Financial markets are highly efficient, meaning that information is quickly reflected in stock prices. As the previous blog highlights, attempting to react to short-term market movements is not only difficult but can lead to missed opportunities and higher trading costs. It is far more advantageous to adopt a long-term view and stay invested in a well-diversified portfolio, as shown in our previous posts.
Short-term market volatility often triggers emotional responses, such as fear and panic. However, a successful investor is one who understand the importance of remaining disciplined and avoiding impulsive decisions driven by emotions. By focusing on your long-term investment, you can avoid the irrational decisions short-term investing sometimes comes with.
In today’s ever-changing investment landscape, adopting a diverse, globally invested approach is key to managing market volatility and maximizing long-term returns. Geographical diversification empowers investors to minimize risk, access diverse investment opportunities, and effectively manage currency fluctuations. Coupled with a steadfast long-term view, this strategy provides a solid foundation for financial success. By diversifying your investments globally, you increase your chances of participating in the growth stories of various economies and industries, boosting the strength and potential returns of your investment portfolio.
Find out more
If you would like to learn more about crafting a robust investment portfolio tailored to your unique goals, our team of experts is here to assist you. Please get in touch with your local financial planner who will be able to provide you with more information.
The value of your investment can fall as well as rise and is not guaranteed. Past performance is not a guide to future performance.