You may have heard of home bias in investing. If you haven’t, home bias is the tendency of investors to own a large amount of domestic securities, despite the vastly greater number of opportunities available in foreign markets. The U.S. stock and bond markets only account for about two-thirds of the global total, but U.S. investors allocate almost 75% of their portfolios to the U.S.
Favoring domestic versus foreign markets isn’t the only bias among investors though. According to J.P. Morgan, there is also a regional bias in investing.
A regional bias?
Indeed, the chart below from J.P. Morgan’s quarterly guide to the markets shows that the region you live in helps determine which industries you are likely to favor.
If you live in the West you are more likely than average to invest in tech stocks. If you live in the South-East, you will probably favor energy. For folk in the Mid-West, industrials are the favored industry and if you live in the North-East, financials are the sector you are likely to favor.
I’m going to go out on a limb and say it is a mistake to allow where you live to influence how and where you invest.
Jeremy Jones, CFA
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