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Made in America?

July 8, 2014

Made in America

As the 4th of July holiday recedes into the past (and the oppressive heat & humidity step in), a real question that is being debated on TV and everywhere else is the following. Just how much of what we use and talk about on a daily basis is actually made in the U.S.A.? On-shoring, the trend by which jobs are returning from overseas to old industrial areas such as the Rust Belt and Detroit (driven by lower energy costs and higher wages overseas), is triggering a renewed chapter of this conversation.

It seems appropriate to revisit this topic in the week following the 4th of July holiday, and to ask the following question — how American are the titans of American business? Many of the largest and best-known corporations such as General Electric, Coca-Cola, IBM, Ford Motors, Apple, and Google, all earn substantial amounts of revenue from overseas operations. Depending on the stock market index that you follow/invest in, these percentages can be north of 50%, and depending on the specific firm in question, it may be 75% or more.

Diversification is a great thing, and international diversification (which we discuss in International Investing every Thursday) is a natural extension of that. It’s not good, it’s not bad — it’s a business decision that needs to be taken into account when you are deciding what to do with your hard-earned money.

Happy Reading!


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