The idea of splitting international assets up into a series of regional portfolios is certainly out of fashion. After all, the headquarters of a company often has little relevance to its sales footprint. Nestlé, for example, gathers far more revenue from emerging markets than from its home market in Switzerland. 

Theoretically, it is possible to diversify a portfolio with eight or nine shares, but I certainly wouldn’t be comfortable with the specific risk inherent in such a portfolio. Imagine if one of those shares was JSE bomb Steinhoff, for example...

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