Economists love to talk about "decoupling." It sounds like just what it is--a breakup, or an ability to become independent from someone else. The world economy has been humming along primarily because of U.S. demand and U.S. dollars. Recently, with the gains in Dubai, Brazil, and Russia, people believed the era of U.S.-caused growth might be over--that finally, countries could organically create growth. This NY Times article casts doubt on that hope:
If the U.S. is still responsible for most growth, investors are better off just investing in the S&P 500 rather than attempting to diversify directly in international stocks or funds. But I believe decoupling will happen eventually--as the Chinese, Indians, Eastern Europeans, and Russians feel more affluent, they will spend more domestically and internationally. I've taken this opportunity to diversify my holdings and add commodities (KOL), gold (GLD), and single-country-based funds (EWM, IF, GXC) due to the pullback in most of these funds/ETFs.