Taking a global view

Keeping your investments close to home may have its advantages, but only by looking globally can you be sure you’re making the most of diversification.

Imagine mealtimes without choice; your culinary options limited only to British food. No stir-fries, no fajitas, no sushi – no burgers even, and fewer curries (our British national dish the tikka masala excluded, of course).

From a similar perspective, those limiting their investments to just the UK – whether that be in stocks, bonds or property – may be missing out on some much-needed spice and flavours that could be achieved from overseas markets.

That’s not to say UK investments are completely insular, after all, up to three-quarters of earnings from FTSE 100 companies are estimated to be earned in international markets. However, any bad news from the UK economy could similarly affect companies listed in this most-famous of indexes.

Why is diversification important?

Professional investors have long supported the virtues of diversification, that is spreading investments across a wide variety of markets, countries and asset types. Take, for example, Omnis Investment’s range of portfolio funds that individually put money to work across the US, Europe, Asia and in so-called emerging markets such as China, Russia and Brazil.

Each of these markets will have a different risk profile, sometimes moving in different directions as the global economy ebbs and flows on political shifts and other news events.

Seeking the best opportunities

An extra safeguard comes in the form of the Omnis Managed Portfolio Service (OMPS), run by a team which spreads the risks by investing (and selling) each of these funds according to when they think they offer the best opportunities for investors.

Economic growth has been picking up in several regions and this coincides with attractive valuations in export-led markets like Europe, so the team have been able to add extra exposure to this positive outlook and earn extra returns for clients.

Meanwhile, looking further afield to Asian and emerging markets has yielded even better returns, though with potentially bigger risks attached to these territories, the team is wary of investing here for more cautious investors.

UK stocks and bonds will always have a big part of play in UK investors’ portfolios, not least because of the potential impact of fluctuations in overseas currencies. However, time and time again investors have been proven right to mix their assets.

The complex nature of investing means professionals will always have a lot on their plates but, as a takeaway, diversification makes for real food for thought.

If you’d like to review your investment portfolio to make sure it’s properly diversified and in line with your attitude to risk, please get in touch.