Americans Not Flocking to International Equities

A scant 13% of Americans currently invest in international stocks and only 19% plan to do so over the next five years.

A survey conducted by asset manager Schroders found that an investor’s likelihood to invest in international stocks increases with income level, as only 10% of those with an income under $25,000 say they plan to invest in international stocks, while 38% with incomes over $75,000 say they plan to do the same.

Interestingly, men are 50% more likely to invest in international equities than women, indicating a higher risk tolerance among male investors, according to the survey.

Although other investments were more popular, the majority of Americans are not looking at investments in the near future: 49% of American investors plan to invest in CDs, savings accounts, or money market funds in the next five years and 35% of respondents said they will invest in mutual funds.

When considering countries, Americans view China as the world’s dominant economic superpower in the next decade, compared with the United States, India, Germany and Russia, the survey found.

“China’s economic growth and rising purchasing power illustrates the long- term opportunities for investors looking for higher returns from companies based in or benefiting from the world’s fast-growing and emerging economies,” said Virginie Maisonneuve, Head of International Equities at Schroder Investment Management, in a press release. “This is one of the main reasons to buy international stocks.”

The Schroder Individual Investor Survey was conducted as a telephone poll between May 31 and June 4, 2007 among a nationally representative sample of more than 1,000 American investors over 18 years of age.