Fools were out and about this week in an investing world jam-packed with actions and ideas. Here are three articles you might find useful as you decide how to invest your money.

Is the SPDR S&P 500 a Buy?
The SPDR S&P 500 (NYSE: SPY) is an exchange-traded fund that lets investors buy shares of all the S&P 500 companies in one easy action. It's been an abysmal investment over the past decade, Fool Nate Weisshaar reminded us this week. But if long periods of below-average returns typically usher in periods of above-average returns, isn't now a good time to buy in?

Fool Alex Dumortier breaks the news that the SPDR S&P 500 is not a good buy now. "Don't listen to those who say the recent correction is a buying opportunity; we simply haven't reached those levels yet," Alex wrote. "Stocks may well get back to fair value (or below!), and the market has made some headway in that direction, but it makes no sense to be overweight the broad U.S. market right now."

Click to the article for more on why Alex thinks you'd be better off looking outside the U.S. with the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ETF (NYSE: EEM) and the Vanguard Emerging Markets ETF (NYSE: VWO).

The Way to Play Africa
In his "Global View" column this week, Tim Hanson talked about Africa's potential (natural resources, arable land, fast-growing population), its risks (corruption, poverty, disease), and a way for investors to make the most of the situation.

"While Africa's long-term growth trajectory looks promising, there will be volatility along the way," wrote Tim, who is co-advisor of the Motley Fool Global Gains newsletter service. "Capture that upside and protect yourself against volatility by diversifying across countries and companies via [ETF] Market Vectors Africa (NYSE: AFK)."

Don't just take Tim's word for it, though. Click and read the full article, then start your own research on African investing opportunities.

Microsoft's Road to the Future
Fool editor and writer Jim Mueller might sound like a big kid when he segues into thoughts of what playing Call of Duty might be like if linked with Microsoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT) Kinect motion-sensing system: "Hiding behind the couch, aiming and shooting the gun at opponents on the screen, changing or reloading weapons on the fly. Jumping, leaping. My living room is toast."

He continues: "Merged with the physical interactivity that Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) developed for its iPhone and iPad, it could lead to computer interaction as imagined in the Tom Cruise movie Minority Report. Pick a file off a screen and put it onto another computer by tossing it at another screen."

Is Jim just a dreamer? No. He's looking at the full industry picture and thinking long term. He won't be like the radio presenter who allegedly said in 1948, "Television won't last. It's a flash in the pan." Or the movie mogul who allegedly said in 1927, "Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?"

Apple is a Stock Advisor selection. Motley Fool Options has recommended a diagonal call position on Microsoft, which is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick. The Fool owns shares of Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock ETF.

Fool online editor Kris Eddy owns no shares of any stocks mentioned in this article. Try any of our investing newsletters free for 30 days. The Motley Fool's disclosure policy marches to its own clarinetist.