The Lost Decade for International Equities
The chart of the SPDR MSCI ACWI ex-US ETF CWI allows us to visually see that an investor who has bought and held broad International exposure over the last ten years has likely lost money. Since the end of 2006, those who may have held CWI have lost -14.12% (12/29/2006 to 12/29/2016), while the S&P 500 Index has gained 58.59% over that same period. Not everything has been doom and gloom though. There have been periods in which the asset class has been a relative leader. In fact, International Equities held the number 1 spot within DALI from 12/31/2006 to 1/8/2008, and from 4/9/2009 to 5/4/2010. Over those periods, the asset class provided good trading opportunities as CWI gained 8.78% and 37.48% respectively, but the asset class was unable to sustain its relative leadership. As we move in 2017, International Equities is jockeying with Commodities for 2nd place in DALI. Whether International Equities provides a sustainable trend of outperformance has yet to be seen. But as 2017 unfolds, this asset class will be one to pay close attention to.