The first quarter of 2017 has officially come to an end—and it was a good one, especially if you owned a globally diversified portfolio of stocks. Recently economists put out a warning to investors–the US markets have gotten ahead of reality! So where should investors look for relative value? The answer is—outside the US.
Below is a 10-year chart courtesy of stockcharts.com (March 30, 2007 through March 31, 2017) comparing the performance of the S&P 500 (Ticker: SPY) up 104.34% to the iShares MSCI EAFE Value ETF (Ticker: EFV) down -1.11% over the same period.
As you can see from the chart above, international developed stocks haven’t participated nearly as much in the massive recovery that’s ensued following the 2008-09 global financial crisis.
The S&P 500 currently trades at 25x trailing 12 month earnings, while the iShares MSCI EAFE Value ETF trades at a considerable discount of 15x earnings.
The EFA Value ETF provides diversified exposure to a broad range of developed companies in Europe, Australia, Asia and the Far East with a tilt towards value stocks that are thought to be undervalued by the market.
I’ll leave you with a timely piece of advice from legendary investor Howard Marks of Oaktree Capital Management:
“The greatest risk doesn’t come from low quality or high volatility. It comes from paying prices that are too high. This isn’t a theoretical risk; it’s very real.”
Year to date performance of indexes through 3/31/17: http://news.morningstar.com/index/indexReturn.html