"When it comes to your portfolio? You definitely want something a little more familiar."
-- Rick Munarriz, five minutes ago
Fine. Can we get a show of hands? How many of you are familiar with Nokia (NYSE: NOK ) ? OK, how about Shell, otherwise known as Royal Dutch Petroleum (NYSE: RDSa ) ? Toyota (NYSE: TM ) ? Exactly. Familiarity has nothing to do with locale, Rick.
Not all international stocks are laggards
The other knock against international shares, Rick says, is that they lag domestics. While that has been true among some Fool newsletter picks, it certainly wasn't for the Capital IQ screen that I ran. And it's not universally true for the Fool newsletters, either. For example, a South Korean steel producer is crushing the market by more than 40% since its selection to the Motley Fool Income Investor portfolio one year ago.
Where the yields are
But that shouldn't be at all surprising. American Depositary Receipts account for some of the highest-yielding stocks available. And many of them hail from countries that have tax treaties with the U.S. Take Telecom New Zealand (NYSE: NZT ) . Its breathtaking 8.87% yield trounces the market (that yield looks to climb even higher after Thursday's trading). And thanks to the tax benefit, investors will collect that payout as if the company was based in Wellington, Virginia, rather than Wellington, New Zealand.
The Foolish bottom line
It's easy to say foreign investments are either too risky or too unfamiliar. (Darned foreigners!) The truth, however, is altogether different. Investing in top-notch overseas markets offers both diversification and upside opportunities that aren't available here.
Or, put differently: You could invest in General Motors (NYSE: GM ) or Ford (NYSE: F ) and lose your shirt. Or you could invest with market beaters like Toyota and Daimler Chrysler (NYSE: DCX ) and have a better chance of getting rich. Case closed.
Get 14 other reasons to take your portfolio on a market-beating trip around the globe by picking up The Motley Fool's inaugural international stock report,Around the World in 80 Minutes. Or, subscribe to any of ourinvesting newslettersand get the report free. All you have to lose is the prospect of richer returns.
Think you're done with the Duel? You're not! Go back and read the other three arguments, and thenvote for a winner.
Fool contributorTim Beyerslast used his passport on a recent trip to Canada. He highly recommends Montreal. Tim owns shares of the Julius Baer International Equity fund and Nokia. You can find out what else is in his portfolio by checking Tim's Foolprofile. Telecom New Zeland is an Income Investor recommendation. The Motley Fool has an ironcladdisclosure policy.