How do you convince mass-affluent clients to think more globally with their investments? Very carefully, if our coverage in the current issue is any gauge. Stock returns in the U.S. have been phenomenal in the years since the crisis, which prompted many investors to turn their thinking inward. (This is further cemented by the broader political mind-set of many Americans who do not want to get involved in the Middle East-militarily or otherwise.) Or so goes the conventional wisdom.
I worry, however, that mass-affluent investors (i.e., your clients) are more shell-shocked than they appear at first glance. The U.S. bull market is a great talking point, but the one caveat is that many investors missed the party.
If they had merely turned inward in their thinking, they at least would have racked up those juicy domestic returns in recent years. Instead, many investors spent their time in a race to see who could pull more money out of equity mutual funds. For months on end last year and early this year, our weekly fund flows stories had a consistent theme: Equities lost and fixed-income gained.
Whether they were reacting to yesterday's news, or simply scared, is hard to say. But the results were the same: Your clients were not seeing the big picture. And now, the big picture involves going back overseas.
Never fear. Our current cover story has tips on client interaction, as well as regional highlights on global investments. And a second feature in the issue delves further into the investment opportunities in Europe as the continent inches back from the precipice. A third focuses on the dire need for infrastructure investing around the world, especially in the emerging markets.
The global investing theme surfaces elsewhere in the print issue, too, particularly in our charts of global funds and on our data page, which highlights differences in investors' attitudes around the world.
We have other offerings as well. To highlight just one, contributor Paul Werlin writes about long-term care and why banks are especially well positioned to sell it.
So whether your next conversation involves emerging markets or end-of-life care, proceed carefully. But proceed.