As developed countries continue to struggle with heavy debt loads and sluggish growth, the emerging markets burn hotter and hotter, and U.S. government policy stokes trade and currency concerns worldwide, the international picture is becoming increasingly pertinent--and, perhaps, increasingly bewildering--to investors.
Morningstar.com offers coverage of 950 stocks, 1,150 mutual funds, and 300 ETFs, plus market news, economic analysis, portfolio-planning insights, and investment commentary.
This week, Morningstar.com checks in with our own analysts and strategists, as well as some of our favorite fund managers, to draw a global map for investors. Each day we'll roll out new article and video reports to identify the growth drivers behind the world's economies and the outlook for global investment returns (note: the two don't always correspond), provide insight on the impact of currency, and most importantly, offer practical tips for allocating assets to overseas investments and some specific picks for international investors.
Stay tuned: Each day we'll update this page with additional reports, so be sure to stop by throughout the week for something new.
Monday: Lay of the Land
Morningstar's Christine Benz and fund analyst Karin Anderson kick off the week with an international category performance recap to put recent international returns into perspective for investors. Christine also checks in with analyst Kevin McDevitt on recent foreign fund flow trends to see where fund investors are placing their bets today. Plus, Morningstar director of economic analysis Bob Johnson weighs in with the primary international factors behind his current forecasts, and Morningstar U.K. site editor Holly Cooks gets a global economic outlook from Roger Bootle, former HSBC chief economist and adviser to the UK Treasury.
Tuesday: Emerging Markets
Matthews Asia Funds' Andrew Foster and T. Rowe Price's Gonzalo Pangaro check in with us Tuesday to offer their take on emerging-markets fundamentals, valuations, and opportunities. Plus, Morningstar fund analysts home in on diversified foreign funds with big appetites for emerging markets, as well as risk-conscious ways that fund investors can make emerging-markets plays. We'll also examine the rise of emerging-markets bonds with PIMCO's Michael Gomez, and take a closer look at the possibility for inflation in emerging markets given recent U.S. monetary policies.
Wednesday: Currency Effects
With the dollar leading many market headlines recently, we're devoting Wednesday to a discussion of currency risk and opportunities. Morningstar ETF analyst Michael Rawson identifies which strategic investors may want to consider an explicit currency play in their portfolios, as well as the case (and pick) behind the tactical currency play in Morningstar ETFInvestor
's Hands-On Portfolio. Morningstar's ETF team also gives pointers for building a dollar-proof portfolio, and also offers tips for uncovering the implicit currency bets that might already be lurking inside investors' portfolios. Meanwhile, Morningstar fund analyst David Kathman comments on whether investors should bet against the dollar, and Morningstar's Christine Benz offers cautionary tips for currency speculators. Plus, we check in with currency fund manager Axel Merk for his take on the possible currency effects of the Fed's recent policies and how investors can respond.
Thursday: International Allocation
We bring the world to your portfolio on Thursday with a discussion of global asset allocation. Morningstar's Christine Benz interviews Ibbotson's Tom Idzorek on calculating a sound foreign stock allocation in developed and emerging markets, and whether that stake should change as investors approach retirement. Christine also surveys target-date funds' international allocations and Morningstar's Lifetime Allocation Indexes for additional insights. And on the topic of diversification, Morningstar markets editor Jeremy Glaser investigates the notion of increased global correlations, as domestic firms expand their businesses overseas, and the U.S. continues to import goods from emerging markets
Friday: Global Picks
We close out the week with a survey of top foreign stock picks from our equity analysts, opportunistic international ETF ideas, a fund screen for topnotch international anchors and prudent picks to add complementary exposure to your core foreign funds, and a sampling of recent picks from some of our favorite foreign fund managers.