Obstacles to international investing are i

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Obstacles to international investing are: i. Availability of information , including insufficient data on which to base investment decisions. Interpreting and evaluating data that is different in form and/or content than the routinely available and widely understood U.S. data is difficult. Also, much foreign data is reported with a considerable lag. ii. Liquidity , in terms of the ability to buy or sell, in size and in a timely manner, without affecting the market price. Most foreign exchanges offer (relative to U.S. norms) limited trading, and experience greater price volatility. Moreover, only a (relatively) small number of individual foreign stocks enjoy liquidity comparable to that in the U.S., although this situation is improving steadily. iii. Transaction costs , particularly when viewed as a combination of commission plus spread plus market impact costs, are well above U.S. levels in most foreign markets. This, of course, adversely affects return realization. iv. Political risk . v. Foreign currency risk , although to a great extent, this can be hedged. c. The asset-class performance data for this particular period reveal that non-U.S. dollar bonds provided a small incremental return advantage over U.S. dollar bonds, but at a considerably higher level of risk. Each category of fixed income assets outperformed the S&P 500 Index measure of U.S. equity results with regard to both risk and return, which is certainly an unexpected outcome. Within the equity area, non-U.S. stocks, represented by the EAFE Index, outperformed U.S. stocks by a considerable margin with only slightly more risk. In contrast to U.S. equities, this asset category performed as it should relative to fixed income assets, providing more return for the higher risk involved. Concerning the Account Performance Index, its position on the graph reveals an aggregate outcome that is superior to the sum of its component parts. To some extent, this is due to the beneficial effect on performance resulting from multi- market diversification and the differential covariances involved. In this case, the portfolio manager(s) (apparently) achieved an on-balance positive alpha, adding to total portfolio return by their actions. The addition of international (i.e., non- 25-3
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U.S.) securities to a portfolio that would otherwise have held only domestic (U.S.) securities clearly worked to the advantage of this fund over this time period.
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