One way to protect yourself against a declining dollar is to own stocks in a foreign country. If the dollar drops against that country's currency, then those foreign earnings increase in dollar terms and make up for your loss in purchasing power. Paradoxically, one of the best ways to get international exposure is to buy a U.S.-listed stock such as Adobe Systems (Nasdaq: ADBE). Adobe made 58% of its 2009 revenue from international sales, and as a U.S.-based company it has several benefits that foreign stocks often don't provide.

The first surrounds financial regulations, corporate governance, and accounting standards. Foreign companies often don't have to abide by the stringent standards that U.S. companies do. With Adobe, you are getting all that foreign revenue filtered through U.S. regulations and accounting rules. That's a big advantage -- just ask any Chinese small-cap investor.

The second is geographic diversification. Adobe's revenue sources are truly global, as shown in the chart below (EMEA means Europe, Middle East, and Africa). That's a second big advantage because you are not locked into the political and economic fortunes of just one particular country.


Adobe global revenue breakdown by region

The smartphone basket
Third, investing in the U.S. is sometimes the best way to participate in a powerful new global trend. Take smartphones, for example: Some of the world's leading companies in this space are iPhone maker Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL), chip supplier Qualcomm (Nasdaq: QCOM), Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM), which makes the BlackBerry line, and Motorola (NYSE: MOT) with its Droid phones. I'm bullish on Adobe because its Flash tools make it easy to reuse software code for all these phone systems. When Apple tried to restrict developers from using Adobe tools, the backlash was so strong that Apple had to back down. RIM already supports Adobe on its tablets and just announced that the BlackBerry phones will soon.

Qualcomm derives almost 95% of its revenue overseas, although most of it is concentrated in Asia. Apple has 56% in foreign sales with a more balanced geographic footprint like Adobe, while Motorola and RIM have 46% and 42%, respectively. Whether you buy just Adobe or the whole basket, you get to ride the smartphone wave while benefitting from the knowledge that the Securities and Exchange Commission watches over your globally diversified income.

More on Adobe:

Fool contributor Tomasz Johannsen owns shares of Adobe, Apple, and Qualcomm. Apple and Adobe Systems are Motley Fool Stock Advisor choices. Motley Fool Options has recommended a diagonal call position on Adobe Systems. The Fool owns shares of Apple and Qualcomm. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.