Mounir Laggoune
CEO of Finary
Mounir Laggoune
CEO of Finary
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May 1, 2022

Diversification: A Key Strategy for Portfolio Optimization

Geographical diversification is a way of reducing portfolio risk by avoiding excessive concentration in any one market. Let's see what does it mean.

In the realm of investment, one principle stands uncontested:

Don't put all your eggs in one basket.

This time-honored wisdom forms the cornerstone of diversification, a fundamental strategy that underlies successful investment portfolios. The concept of diversification is not new, but its interpretation and execution have become more nuanced and complex, especially in today's globalized markets. This blog post will delve into the multifaceted world of diversification, with an emphasis on one of its most vital components: geographical diversification.

📙 Diversification 101

Diversification is a risk management strategy where investments are spread across various assets, sectors, and regions to avoid the pitfalls of a concentrated investment strategy. The rationale is simple: a diverse array of investments can yield higher average returns and pose a lower risk than any individual investment found within the portfolio.

Harry Markowitz’s seminal Modern Portfolio Theory posits that investors can construct an optimal portfolio through diversification, thus maximizing expected return for a given level of risk. This strategy has become a linchpin of investment strategy for decades, underlining the paramount importance of diversification.

📈 The Evolution of Diversification

While diversification has traditionally focused on spreading investments across different types of assets such as stocks, bonds, and real estate, the interconnectedness of today's global economy has rendered this approach insufficient. The current landscape calls for a more comprehensive diversification strategy, one that includes geographical diversity.

Geographical diversification refers to the distribution of investments across different geographical regions, such as countries or continents. This strategy mitigates the risk associated with economic downturns or adverse events in a particular region.

🤔 Why Geographical Diversification Matters

Geographical diversification serves as a powerful tool in any investor's arsenal. Different regions have unique economic cycles and events that may not directly affect each other. By investing in a variety of geographical areas, you can potentially take advantage of these disparate economic cycles and events.

Furthermore, geographical diversification allows investors to capitalize on the growth potential of emerging markets. Although these markets can be volatile, they also offer potentially higher growth rates than more established markets.

To implement geographical diversification effectively, it’s crucial to understand your portfolio's exposure to different countries and continents. The number of countries you're invested in and your concentration of investment in each provide a snapshot of your diversification level.

🕵️ Gauging Geographical Diversification

Assessing geographical diversification isn't as straightforward as merely counting the number of countries or continents in which you hold investments. It also involves understanding the percentage of your portfolio allocated to each region.

If 90% of your portfolio is invested in one country, for instance, you're not truly diversified, regardless of how many other countries you're invested in.

✅ Applying Geographical Diversification

Implementing geographical diversification requires careful analysis of global markets and economies. This strategy isn’t as simple as randomly picking countries to invest in. Factors such as political stability, economic indicators, currency risks, and market growth potential all need to be considered.

For example, while emerging markets often offer high growth potential, they can be risky due to political instability or economic volatility. On the other hand, developed markets may offer more stability but slower growth. An effectively diversified portfolio typically includes a mix of investments in both developed and emerging markets.

💹 Geographical Diversification through Investment Vehicles

Achieving geographical diversification doesn't necessarily entail investing directly in foreign stocks or bonds. Various investment vehicles can provide exposure to different geographical regions. These include mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and index funds, which pool money from many investors to invest in a diversified portfolio of assets, potentially spanning different countries or regions.

For instance,an international mutual fund might invest in companies located anywhere outside of its home country. A global fund, on the other hand, invests anywhere in the world, including its home country. By investing in such funds, you can achieve geographical diversification without the need to research and invest in individual foreign assets.

🛣️ The Road Ahead

In today's interconnected world, geographical diversification plays a crucial role in portfolio optimization. It not only provides a safety net against regional downturns but also opens doors to global growth opportunities. However, achieving effective geographical diversification requires careful planning and constant vigilance.

Remember, understanding your portfolio's exposure to different countries and continents is a key factor in implementing geographical diversification. The number of countries you're invested in and your concentration in each provides a snapshot of your diversification level.

Moreover, geographical diversification isn't simply about investing in different locations. It involves strategic allocation based on a thorough understanding of global markets and economies. Political stability, economic indicators, currency risks, and market growth potential are all critical considerations in this process.

Lastly, geographical diversification doesn't necessarily mean investing directly in foreign assets. Various investment vehicles, such as mutual funds, ETFs, and index funds, can offer exposure to different geographical regions. These can be a more convenient option for investors looking to diversify geographically without having to navigate the complexities of foreign investments.


In a nutshell, geographical diversification is a potent strategy that can boost portfolio performance and resilience in an increasingly globalized world. It is more than just spreading investments across countries and continents; it is a strategic and nuanced approach that requires thorough understanding and careful execution. As with any investment strategy, it is not without risks, but the potential benefits it offers make it a strategy worth considering for every investor.

Edited by
Mounir Laggoune
CEO of Finary
Written by
Mounir Laggoune
CEO of Finary
Mounir is the co-founder and CEO of Finary. He is passionate about personal finances and shares his knowledge every Friday on BFM Business on the show Tout pour Votre Argent as well as twice a week on the Finary YouTube channel.

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