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The Performance of International Equity Portfolios

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  • Charles P. Thomas
  • Francis E. Warnock
  • Jon Wongswan

Abstract

This paper evaluates the ability of U.S. investors to allocate their foreign equity portfolios across 44 countries over a 25-year period. We find that U.S. portfolios achieved a significantly higher Sharpe ratio than foreign benchmarks, especially since 1990. We test whether this strong performance owed to trading expertise or longer-term allocation expertise. The evidence is overwhelmingly against trading expertise. While U.S. investors did abstain from momentum trading and instead sold past winners, we find no evidence that these past winners subsequently underperformed. In addition, conditional performance measures, which directly test reallocating into (out of) markets that subsequently outperformed (underperformed), suggest no significant trading expertise. In contrast, we offer strong evidence of longer-term allocation expertise: If we fix portfolio weights at the end of 1989 and do not allow reallocations, we still find superior performance in the recent period.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12346.

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Date of creation: Jul 2006
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12346

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Stephanie E. Curcuru & Tomas Dvorak & Francis E. Warnock, 2007. "The Stability of Large External Imbalances: The Role of Returns Differentials," NBER Working Papers 13074, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Thimann, Christian, 2009. "Global roles of currencies," Working Paper Series 1031, European Central Bank.
  3. Bong-Chan Kho & René M. Stulz & Francis E. Warnock, 2009. "Financial Globalization, Governance, and the Evolution of the Home Bias," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(2), pages 597-635, 05.
  4. Jon Wongswan, 2005. "The response of global equity indexes to U.S. monetary policy announcements," International Finance Discussion Papers 844, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  5. Joshua Hausman & Jon Wongswan, 2006. "Global asset prices and FOMC announcements," International Finance Discussion Papers 886, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  6. Calderón, César & Kubota, Megumi, 2013. "Sudden stops: Are global and local investors alike?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 122-142.
  7. Stephanie Curcuru & Tomas Dvorak & Francis E. Warnock, 2009. "Decomposing the U.S. external returns differential," International Finance Discussion Papers 977, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  8. Fang Cai & Francis E. Warnock, 2004. "International diversification at home and abroad," International Finance Discussion Papers 793, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  9. Ravi Balakrishnan & Volodymyr Tulin & Tamim Bayoumi, 2007. "Globalization, Gluts, innovation or Irrationality," IMF Working Papers 07/160, International Monetary Fund.
  10. Edison, Hali J. & Warnock, Francis E., 2008. "Cross-border listings, capital controls, and equity flows to emerging markets," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 1013-1027, October.
  11. Stephanie E. Curcuru & Tomas Dvorak & Francis Warnock, 2007. "Cross-border returns differentials," Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute Working Paper 04, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  12. Ravi Balakrishnan & Volodymyr Tulin, 2006. "U.S. Dollar Risk Premiums and Capital Flows," IMF Working Papers 06/160, International Monetary Fund.
  13. Stephanie E. Curcuru & Tomas Dvorak & Francis E. Warnock, 2009. "Decomposing the U.S. External Returns Differential," NBER Working Papers 15077, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Gaston Gelos, 2011. "International Mutual Funds, Capital Flow Volatility, and Contagion-A Survey," IMF Working Papers 11/92, International Monetary Fund.

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