Chart of the week

Balance returning after a decade of U.S. outperformance?

The investment opportunity set has changed in 2022. This week’s chart looks at signs of balance between U.S. and international stocks.

February 25, 2022 | 2 minute read

Rolling 6 month returns (S&P 500 less MSCI EAFE)

Source: Bloomberg Finance, L.P. as of February 18, 2022. EAFE refers to the MSCI Europe, Australasia and Far East (EAFE) Index, which measures the equity market performance of developed markets outside of the U.S. & Canada.

  • Piling into a relatively narrow sleeve of large-cap U.S. growth stocks was the right approach to beating the broader market throughout the second half of 2021. Looking more broadly over the last ten years, the U.S. was clearly the place to allocate capital as the S&P 500 outperformed the MSCI EAFE (non-U.S. developed markets) nearly 80% of the time over that period.1
  • Despite financial markets being roiled by multi-decade high inflation, a hawkish Fed pivot to start the new year and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine this week, the global economy remains on generally strong footing. 
  • After a decade of U.S. outperformance, especially within a narrow group of mega-cap growth stocks which have benefited from ultra-low interest rates, we may be entering a period where we see greater breadth in global growth.
  • History has shown that such periods tend to spur corporate earnings across regions and sectors, creating a wider range of investment opportunities across the globe.
  • Given the backdrop of significant geopolitical uncertainty, high inflation, and tighter Fed policy, 2022 may provide an optimal environment for active, skilled managers to leverage their expertise to identify opportunities across a changing economic and inflation cycles.

  • Bloomberg Finance, L.P. as of February 18, 2022. EAFE refers to the MSCI Europe, Australasia and Far East (EAFE) Index, which measures the equity market performance of developed markets outside of the U.S. & Canada.

The chart of the week and any accompanying data is for informational purposes only and shall not be considered an investment recommendation or promotion of FS Investments or any FS Investments fund. The chart of the week is subject to change at any time based on market or other conditions, and FS Investments and FS Investment Solutions, LLC disclaim any responsibility to update such market commentary. The chart of the week should not be relied on as investment advice, and because investment decisions for the FS Investments funds are based on numerous factors, may not be relied on as an indication of the investment intent of any FS Investments fund. None of FS Investments, its funds, FS Investment Solutions, LLC or their respective affiliates can be held responsible for any direct or incidental loss incurred as a result of any reliance on the chart of the week or other opinions expressed therein. Any discussion of past performance should not be used as an indicator of future results.

This information is educational in nature and does not constitute a financial promotion, investment advice or an inducement or incitement to participate in any product, offering or investment. FS Investments is not adopting, making a recommendation for or endorsing any investment strategy or particular security. All views, opinions and positions expressed herein are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions or positions of FS Investments. All opinions are subject to change without notice, and you should always obtain current information and perform due diligence before participating in any investment. FS Investments does not provide legal or tax advice and the information herein should not be considered legal or tax advice. Tax laws and regulations are complex and subject to change, which can materially impact any investment result. FS Investments cannot guarantee that the information herein is accurate, complete, or timely. FS Investments makes no warranties with regard to such information or results obtained by its use, and disclaims any liability arising out of your use of, or any tax position taken in reliance on, such information.

Any projections, forecasts and estimates contained herein are based upon certain assumptions that the author considers reasonable. Projections are necessarily speculative in nature, and it can be expected that some or all of the assumptions underlying the projections will not materialize or will vary significantly from actual results. The inclusion of projections herein should not be regarded as a representation or guarantee regarding the reliability, accuracy or completeness of the information contained herein, and neither FS Investments nor the author are under any obligation to update or keep current such information.

All investing is subject to risk, including the possible loss of the money you invest.

Search our site