William L. Wilby, manager of the Oppenheimer Global Fund, contends that the fact that investing overseas hasnt offered U.S. investors much diversification is an argument for, not against, putting money into a global mutual fund.
Wilby told The Wall Street Journal: "I've come to the conclusion that the world is one big stock market, and country differences have more to do with noise in the market. That noise often stems from indexes in overseas markets' weighting certain sectors more or less heavily than their U.S. counterparts, reflecting the relative size of local industries."
Wilby invests in stocks of companies with fast-growing sales and earnings, a style largely out of favor during the three-year bear market. Investors were particularly unwilling to pay for future earnings growth in the run-up to the war in Iraq, because of the uncertainty surrounding it. "There's been enormous underpricing of long-term growth," he said. "Companies that weren't large portions of an index got underpriced."
The $5.9 billion Oppenheimer Global fund was down 3.12% for the year to date through Friday, underperforming its benchmark, the MSCI Europe Australiasia Far East index by 2.31 percentage points, according to Morningstar. The fund has fallen by an average of 13.46% over the past three years, outperforming the index by 2.48 percentage points.
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