In To Stay Home or Travel Abroad, I debated (with myself) the merits of owning foreign stocks. My conclusion: Holding some non-U.S. stocks makes good portfolio sense over the long haul, though Vanguard’s stance of allocating 40% of their fund-of-fund stock holdings to foreign markets at all times goes overboard.
If you agree with my conclusion to own foreign stocks, the next question is which fund to buy. Do you buy a global stock fund or one that excludes U.S. stocks? Should you focus on developed or emerging markets? And, of course, there’s always the active versus index fund question.
As Vanguard has been expanding its stable of foreign stock funds recently—last year, Vanguard added two funds and just filed to launch another fund in November—we are not suffering from a lack of options.
To keep us focused, this week I’ll limit the discussion to Vanguard’s global stock funds—those funds that consistently own stocks from both U.S. and foreign markets. I’ll dig into Vanguard’s foreign-only stock funds in another article.
If you’re new to investing overseas or need a refresher, I’ve provided a few basic definitions to ensure we are all speaking the same language here.
With that, let’s turn to Vanguard’s global stock funds.