Why I’m looking outside the US in two graphs

I haven’t invested in a US stock since I bought AIG more than a year ago, at least if we exclude ALJJ which was mostly a merger arbitrage play. It’s not a conscious decision, but I simply didn’t find a whole lot of US stocks that screamed value to me. Recently a lot of names in Singapore and Hong Kong came to my attention, and when I look at the return of the various indexes for the past year that doesn’t seem to be a coincidence:

The S&P 500 versus emerging markets (VWO) and the MSCI Singapore Index (EWS)

The GMO 7-Year asset class forecast is in my opinion a good sanity check for overall valuation levels. The expectations for emerging markets are a lot better than those for the developed world, although this graph doesn’t account for possible different risk levels.GMO 7-Year Asset Class Real Return Forecasts (August 2013)

The expected average negative real return in the US certainly doesn’t mean that I don’t want to invest there: I believe that there is always a bargain somewhere. The odds of finding one are going down though, and I think that correlates with my experience so far this year. Fishing is easier when there are more fish in the pond.

5 thoughts on “Why I’m looking outside the US in two graphs

  1. pietje

    While I agree with your analysis both Singapore and Hong Kong are considered ‘developed countries’ and are not in VWO (and in the GMO graph probably fall under to Intl. Markets). So the post is a bit misleading. Hong Kong (for example EWH) actually performed quite good.

  2. Don

    What are your thoughts on the fraudulent Chinese companies listed on these exchanges… Have you come across them when searching for bargains?

    1. Alpha Vulture Post author

      I haven’t looked at a big number of Chinese companies listed in Singapore or Hong Kong. I do think that a fair amount of Chinese frauds have been filtered from the market, but that’s just a feeling, and I’m sure plenty of crap is remaining.


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