We're heading into a recession. You've heard about it for months, even years, what with the housing bubble, the war in Iraq, overextended consumer credit -- you name it. A recent Merrill Lynch (NYSE:MER) report says that the U.S. economy will grow by only 1.9% next year, down from 3.4% this year, and slower than the global growth rate of 5.2%. Even slowpoke Europe should pass us at 2.1%, though the U.S. is ahead of the average European GDP growth rate of 2.7%.

If these numbers are even close to reality, your next course of action should be obvious: Invest somewhere else for a while. The good folks behind that report suggest Japan, India, and Brazil as eminently suitable targets.

What's more, they expect that interest rate differences will cause the dollar to lose value against the yen, Chinese renminbi, and Scandinavian currencies, which means that even mediocre businesses in those regions should produce decent share-price returns over here, thanks to the magic of currency conversion.

Investing guru Warren Buffett seems to agree with the Merrill team. His Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK-A) (NYSE:BRK-B) just bought its first-ever foreign firm and dropped hints about looking for more. The insurance, fast-food, and underwear conglomerate (among other things) picked up an 80% stake in Israeli toolmaker IscarMetalworking for $4 billion, and Buffett said that he's facing increased competition from global-minded private equity firms. "They may end up buying some businesses we would have liked to have bought instead," he said.

Now, if you don't feel qualified to distinguish between Toyota and Tata Motors (NYSE:TTM), or between Statoil (NYSE:STO) and Petrobras, you could dip your toe in these promising markets through mutual funds or exchange-traded funds. Try the no-load, low-cost DFA Japanese Small Company (FUND:DFJSX) to get a manager with eight years of tenure guiding you through the Nikkei, for example. Or get some exposure to Brazil through the iSharesMSCI Brazil Index (AMEX:EWZ) ETF. I've made profits by holding some iSharesMSCI Sweden Index (AMEX:EWD) through another dollar dip, and I might do so again.

Even in times of domestic weakness, there are many ways to make money. That's the beauty of the global market, especially when coupled with the information-gathering power of the Internet. You could even check out our Motley Fool International Stock Report for more ideas from our best and brightest analysts. Lyckatill, boa sorte, and kouunwo inorimasu -- or just good luck, as we say here in Florida.

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Fool contributor Anders Bylund currently holds no position in any of the stocks or funds discussed here, though he drives a Toyota with GEICO insurance. You can check out Anders' holdings if you like. Foolishdisclosure applies coast to coast.