Freedom Investing in Review (June 2023)

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We have been advocating Freedom Investing since 2004. Every year, The Heritage Foundation evaluates all the world’s countries using their Index of Economic Freedom, where a high score correlates to nearly every positive measure of a country. We then use this ranking and efficient frontier analysis to craft our Foreign Stock investment strategy that we call “Freedom Investing.”

This article is part of my series where I review how Freedom Investing performs for the quarter. In this analysis, I have used the actual products we are investing in rebalanced monthly to our static asset allocation targets with returns ending June 30, 2023. This analysis does not reflect our dynamic tilt or our individual stock foreign health care strategy, both of which we implement in client portfolios.

For benchmarks, I have used actual products as comparison. The EAFE (EFA) should be compared to Developed Freedom Investing, Emerging Market (VWO) should be compared to Emerging Market Freedom Investing, and the All World ex-US (ACWX) should be compared to the Overall Freedom Investing.

In March 2023, our Investment Committee updated our Freedom Investing strategy for the new 2023 Index of Economic Freedom. For the purposes of this model, those changes are assumed to have been implemented during the March 1, 2023 rebalancing. You can read about those changes in “2023 Index of Economic Freedom Update.”

Last quarter we saw that in 1-year returns ending April 30, 2023, Developed Freedom Investing had a -2.99% disadvantage, Emerging Market Freedom Investing had a +1.85% advantage, and Overall Freedom Investing had a -0.4% disadvantage.

This quarter, we saw that in 1-year returns ending June 30, 2023, Developed Freedom Investing had a -3.68% disadvantage, Emerging Market Freedom Investing had a +4.15% advantage, and Overall Freedom Investing had a -0.61% disadvantage.

You can see our articles reviewing the performance of Freedom Investing here.

Ticker 3-Month 6-Month 9-Month 1-Year
iShares MSCI EAFE ETF (Market Return) EFA 3.25% 12.49% 32.36% 18.63%
Developed Freedom Investing 0.58% 7.36% 27.66% 14.96%
Australia FLAU 0.44% 2.83% 18.71% 10.57%
Austria EWO 3.22% 9.99% 37.59% 18.19%
Canada FLCA 3.66% 7.28% 15.84% 6.55%
Denmark EDEN 2.52% 12.05% 46.32% 25.98%
Finland EFNL -6.52% -4.03% 15.97% 4.37%
Ireland EIRL 5.83% 27.04% 56.85% 44.60%
Netherlands EWN 3.71% 17.52% 44.05% 25.60%
New Zealand ENZL -0.92% 1.90% 20.71% 11.78%
Norway ENOR -1.37% -6.55% 11.67% -6.52%
Singapore EWS -3.31% 2.04% 13.37% 9.72%
Sweden EWD -0.34% 9.56% 30.72% 16.99%
Switzerland FLSW 4.01% 11.71% 24.73% 13.36%
United Kingdom FLGB 2.80% 8.78% 29.88% 14.03%
Ticker 3-Month 6-Month 9-Month 1-Year
Emerging Markets Freedom Investing 2.22% 8.11% 19.35% 5.38%
Emerging Markets VWO 1.25% 5.01% 14.01% 1.23%
Taiwan FLTW 4.23% 18.25% 30.86% 12.04%
South Korea FLKR 3.85% 12.00% 34.84% 9.16%
Chile ECH 5.43% 12.01% 29.68% 29.31%
Ticker 3-Month 6-Month 9-Month 1-Year
Overall Freedom Investing 1.23% 7.70% 19.35% 11.48%
iShares MSCI ACWI ex US ETF (Market Return) ACWX 2.59% 9.96% 26.07% 12.09%


For more information about Freedom Investing, you may enjoy reading “A 25-Year Review of Freedom Investing” or “Risk-Return Analysis of Freedom Investing.”

Photo of Ireland by Gregory DALLEAU on Unsplash. Image has been cropped. Returns data gathered from Morningstar Advisor Workstation.

October 3, 2023: Corrected a mistake where the allocation to South Korea was incorrectly left out of the “Emerging Market Freedom Investing” and “Overall Freedom Investing” returns.

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Chief Operating Officer, CFP®, APMA®

Megan Russell has worked with Marotta Wealth Management most of her life. She loves to find ways to make the complexities of financial planning accessible to everyone. She is the author of over 800 financial articles and is known for her expertise on tax planning.