28 April 2023 Financial Analysts Journal Volume 79, Issue 3

Geographic Investing: Stock Return Indexes Based on Company Operations

  1. Bernard Dumas
  2. Tymur Gabuniya
  3. Richard Marston
Standard methods for determining geographic portfolio allocations are inaccurate. Based on a new model of country factors, this study analyzes modified indexes and finds that they allow portfolio managers to track geographic risk more accurately.
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Portfolio allocations to firms of various geographic areas should be guided by underlying risks of operations. In most statistical studies of international stock returns, a firm is included in a country’s index if its headquarters is located in that country, a classification scheme that ignores the operations of the firm taking place in multiple geographic areas. In prior work, we have proposed a model of country factors that is based on the business activities of all firms operating in a country, be they domestic firms or multinationals. In the present paper, we compare the resulting indexes with the domestic revenue exposure indexes already available in the industry. We conclude that our new indexes allow a portfolio manager to track geographic risk much more accurately.

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