Why investing in international small-cap stocks can benefit your portfolio

Why investing in international small-cap stocks can benefit your portfolio -
7 min read
Lewis Edmonds -

Written by Lewis Edmonds

What are Small-Cap Stocks?

Small-cap stocks refer to shares in corporations with a small market capitalisation, commonly defined as between $300 million and $2 billion. The 'cap' in small-cap comes from 'capitalisation', which is a measure of a company's size and potential for growth.

These stocks typically represent companies in the early stages of growth, or niche sectors. Even though they may not have the same level of visibility as larger corporations, these businesses often have significant growth potential. Their size can also make them more agile, able to pivot and adapt to changing market conditions more quickly than larger, more established companies.

The Potential of Small-Cap Stocks

Investing in small-cap stocks can offer several benefits. For starters, these stocks often exhibit higher growth potential compared to their large-cap counterparts. While they may be riskier due to their size and relative instability, they can offer impressive returns if the company experiences substantial growth.

Additionally, small-cap stocks are often less researched than large-cap stocks, which can create opportunities for savvy investors. With fewer analysts covering these stocks, there's a greater chance for mispricing, allowing you to potentially buy undervalued stocks or sell overvalued ones.

However, it's important to remember that investing in small-cap stocks also comes with its share of risks. These companies can be more vulnerable to economic downturns and may face higher financing costs. Therefore, it's crucial to conduct thorough research and due diligence before investing in these stocks.

If you're considering expanding your portfolio to include small-cap stocks, you might also want to consider investing internationally. By investing in international small-cap stocks, you can further diversify your portfolio and gain exposure to growth opportunities in various economies around the world.

In the following sections, we'll explore the benefits and risks associated with investing in international small-cap stocks and provide some strategies to help you navigate this intriguing segment of the market.

International Investment

In the realm of investing, it's crucial to recognise the value of expanding beyond your local borders. International investment brings a wealth of opportunities to diversify and enhance your portfolio.

The Case for International Investment

International investing allows you to venture into markets with different economic cycles and industries that may not be available or are underrepresented in your local market. This level of diversification can help to mitigate risk, as market downturns in one country or region may be offset by growth in another.

Additionally, investing internationally exposes your portfolio to growth in emerging and frontier markets, which often showcase higher growth rates compared to developed markets. Investing in these markets can potentially yield higher returns, though it's important to balance this with the associated risks. For more information on the potential of emerging markets, consider our guide on investing in emerging economies.

How International Small-Cap Stocks Fit In

Investing in international small-cap stocks can be a valuable component of your international investment strategy. These stocks represent companies with smaller market capitalisations, typically under $2 billion. While they may not have the same level of stability as larger, more established companies, they often possess higher growth potential.

International small-cap stocks allow you to invest in companies at an early stage in their growth cycle. This can provide significant upside potential if these companies succeed and grow in value. Furthermore, these stocks are often under-researched compared to large-cap stocks, providing savvy investors with the opportunity to uncover hidden gems before the broader market takes notice.

Moreover, international small-cap stocks offer a high level of diversification. These companies tend to be more tied to their local economies and less influenced by global market trends. This means they can perform differently to large-cap stocks in your portfolio and can add a layer of diversification.

Whether you're interested in diversifying internationally, exploring global investment opportunities or developing international investing strategies, international small-cap stocks can be a compelling addition to your portfolio. Just remember, as with all investments, it's important to do your research and understand the risks involved before diving in.

Benefits of Investing in International Small-Cap Stocks

When looking at international investments, small-cap stocks present an enticing proposition. Not only do they offer the potential for significant returns, but they also allow investors to diversify their portfolios and gain exposure to emerging markets. In this section, we'll delve into these benefits in more detail.


Diversification is one of the key benefits of investing in international small-cap stocks. By adding these stocks to your portfolio, you're spreading your investments across different markets and reducing your risk. This means that if one market or sector underperforms, your entire investment won't be significantly affected.

For instance, international small-cap stocks often move independently of large-cap stocks in the home market, providing a buffer against fluctuations in domestic markets. You can learn more about the importance of diversification in our guide on diversifying internationally.

Potential for High Returns

International small-cap stocks can offer high return potential. These companies often operate in niche sectors and have the ability to grow rapidly. With the right choice, you could reap substantial rewards.

However, it's essential to remember that with high reward potential comes high risk. These stocks can be volatile, and their performance can be impacted by numerous factors, including local market conditions, political climate, and currency fluctuations. Despite the challenges, the potential for high returns can make international small-cap stocks an attractive addition to your portfolio.

Exposure to Emerging Markets

Investing in international small-cap stocks provides exposure to emerging markets. These markets often have high growth rates, offering lucrative opportunities for investors.

Emerging markets can offer opportunities in various sectors, from technology to consumer goods, which may be less saturated than those in developed economies. This exposure can help enhance your portfolio's growth potential. For more insight on investing in these markets, refer to our guide on investing in emerging economies.

Investing in international small-cap stocks can be a strategic move for broadening your investment horizons, diversifying your portfolio, and potentially enhancing your returns. However, as with all investments, it's crucial to do your research, understand the risks involved, and consider your financial goals before making a decision.

Risks Associated with International Small-Cap Stocks

While investing in international small-cap stocks presents opportunities for significant returns, it is not without its risks. Understanding these risks can help you make informed investment decisions and manage your investment portfolio effectively.

Market Volatility

Small-cap stocks, by their nature, are often more volatile than their large-cap counterparts. This volatility can be amplified in international markets due to factors such as economic instability, political uncertainty, or changing market conditions. Thus, investing in international small-cap stocks might lead to larger price swings and potential losses.

However, with greater risk comes the potential for higher returns. Investors willing to weather these market fluctuations may find international small-cap stocks to be a rewarding addition to their portfolio. You can learn more about market volatility and how to navigate it in our article on investing in foreign stocks.

Currency Risk

When you invest in international small-cap stocks, you're also exposed to currency risk. If the currency of the country where you've invested depreciates against the pound, the value of your investments can decrease, even if the underlying company performs well.

To mitigate currency risk, some investors use hedging strategies, though these can be complex and costly. A simpler approach could be diversifying your investments across various countries and regions to spread the risk. More on this can be found in our article on diversifying internationally.

Country-Specific Risks

Investing in international small-cap stocks also exposes you to country-specific risks. These can include political instability, regulatory changes, economic downturns, or even natural disasters. Such factors can impact the performance of the small-cap companies you've invested in.

To help manage these risks, it's critical to thoroughly research the countries you're investing in and understand the potential challenges they may present. Diversification, once again, can be a useful strategy to spread these risks. For more insights on this topic, check out our piece on international investing strategies.

While these risks should be carefully considered, they should not necessarily deter you from investing in international small-cap stocks. With thorough research, careful planning, and strategic diversification, you can potentially reap the benefits of this unique investment opportunity. However, as with all investments, it's important to ensure that any decisions align with your financial goals and risk tolerance.

Strategies for Investing in International Small-Cap Stocks

When investing in international small-cap stocks, it's crucial to have a strategic plan to guide your decision-making process. This section will discuss some key strategies that can help you navigate this complex investment landscape and maximise your potential for success.

Research and Due Diligence

The first step in investing in international small-cap stocks is conducting thorough research and due diligence. This involves understanding the company's business model, financial health, market positioning, and growth prospects. It also includes familiarising yourself with the economic and political climate of the country where the company operates.

You should also keep track of any news or events that could potentially affect the company's performance. This can include changes in government policies, market trends, currency fluctuations, and more. By staying informed, you can make well-informed investment decisions and respond effectively to market changes.

For insights into market trends and economic indicators, you can refer to our articles on international stock market analysis and global investment opportunities.

Diversification Strategies

Diversification is a key strategy when investing in international small-cap stocks. By spreading your investments across different companies, sectors, and countries, you can reduce your exposure to risk and increase your potential for returns.

One way to achieve diversification is by investing in international mutual funds or ETFs, which offer exposure to a broad range of small-cap stocks from different countries. Alternatively, you could invest in individual companies from different sectors or regions to create a diversified portfolio.

For more tips on diversifying your investments, you can refer to our articles on international ETFs, international mutual funds, and diversifying internationally.

Risk Management Techniques

Investing in international small-cap stocks comes with its share of risks, including market volatility, currency risk, and country-specific risks. Thus, effective risk management techniques are crucial.

One technique is to use stop-loss orders, which can limit your potential losses by automatically selling your stocks when they reach a certain price. Another technique is to regularly review and adjust your portfolio to ensure it aligns with your investment goals and risk tolerance.

In addition, you should consider the impact of currency fluctuations on your investments and consider using hedging strategies if needed. For more insights into managing risk, you can refer to our article on investing in foreign currencies.

In conclusion, investing in international small-cap stocks requires a strategic approach that involves thorough research, diversification, and effective risk management. By adopting these strategies, you can navigate the complex world of international investing and work towards achieving your financial goals.

The content in this article is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. Always consult with a qualified expert or professional for specific guidance on any topic discussed here.
Lewis Edmonds -

Written by Lewis Edmonds

Lewis Edmonds became a part of Fibre in September 2023 to create Fibre Capital, due to demands from the Fibre Payments team to help clients with financial management. He shares a close and longstanding personal relationship with Directors Dan and Will. Taking the Director position at Fibre Capital was a natural and exciting step for him. Before its inception, Lewis spent nearly 10 years advising clients on financial portfolios and products, and had a 4-year tenure in FX. Post-university, he has solely focused on the Financial services sector. Lewis is recognized for his thorough approach, deeply understanding his clients' needs to provide lasting financial solutions.

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