International Investing: The Big Picture

The face of international investing is changing.

There is no connection between where a company is headquartered and where it makes its money.

Using an example cited in The Wall Street Journal, Novartis AG is headquartered in Switzerland and Johnson & Johnson is based in the U.S., but they're both global healthcare companies. Johnson & Johnson generates 52% of its sales outside the United States. Novartis generates 67% of its sales outside the United States.

Most U.S. companies make the majority of their profits on foreign soil. According to Ned Davis Research, as of December 31, 2011, 52.6% of pretax profits for companies in the Standard & Poor's 500 index came from outside the U.S.

Of the roughly 14,000 companies that went public over the past decade, more than 90% of them are outside the United States.

Conclusion: We live in an increasingly global world where one cannot be insulated from international economic events. The best growth opportunities exist on a truly global basis. As with all investment themes, a long-term perspective and patience is required for success.

About Bruce J. Berno, CFP®
Bruce J. Berno, CFP® is the founder of Berno Financial Management, Inc. a fee-only comprehensive personal financial planning and investment advisory firm headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. Since 1993, Berno Financial Management has been helping individuals and families achieve financial peace of mind. For more information about Berno Financial Management, visit