More investors are looking abroad

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NEW YORK — Go west, investors. Oh, and east too.

Stocks are back en vogue five years after the financial crisis, but the interest isn’t universal: Investors are piling into mutual funds that own stocks outside the United States. Last year, investors poured a net $137 billion into global stock mutual funds, according to TrimTabs Investment Research. That’s more than seven times the $18 billion that went into US stock funds.

The numbers look more balanced after including investments in exchange-traded funds, which hedge funds and other professional investors use more than traditional mutual funds, but the trend remains intact. A total of $195 billion went to global stock mutual funds and ETFs versus $156 billion to US-only offerings.

The preference for foreign stock funds is a bit surprising, as investors often get criticized for chasing what’s hot.

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